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Jeff Lambert: Husband, Father, Melanoma Survivor

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"The caliber of care that I received from the Fox Chase team was second to none."

— Jeff Lambert

I was 34 years old when I was diagnosed with melanoma. Today I am cancer free and enjoying life with my wife, Kathleen, and our daughter, Zoey.

Jeff and his daughter Zoey.Jeff and his daughter Zoey.The First Call

In May 2005 I had gone to my family doctor to have a suspicious mole removed from my right shoulder. Within a few days, the doctor called to give me the diagnosis. When we hung up, I called Fox Chase Cancer Center right away, which is about 60 miles from where I live in Allentown, PA. From that first call, I was met with care, courtesy, and professionalism, but I was still terrified of what was to come.

I scheduled my first appointment with Elin R. Sigurdson, MD, PhD, FACS, an oncology surgeon. She performed a wide lateral excision in the area of my original lesion and a sentinel node biopsy. I was so afraid going into the procedure the morning I reported to the hospital that I actually walked out. When I returned, Dr. Sigurdson and her team spent extra time with me to calm my nerves and help me get through the day.

Jeff and his wife, Kathleen and their daughter, Zoey.Jeff and his wife, Kathleen and their daughter, Zoey.

A Higher Caliber

The biopsy showed that the melanoma had spread to my lymph nodes. After discussing my treatment options with Dr. Sigurdson, I decided to undergo a full neck dissection to remove the rest of the lymph nodes from the affected area. A head and neck surgeon at Fox Chase then joined my treatment team.

Once again, the caliber of care that I received from the Fox Chase team was second to none. Everything was clearly explained to me— preparing for surgery, the surgery itself, the subsequent hospital stay, and the postop care instructions I took home with me. I knew without a doubt that I was receiving the best care possible.

Positive Future

I received the good news after surgery that there was no evidence of disease, and I recovered feeling positive about the future. A medical oncologist at Fox Chase, took over my care and follow-up appointments. The oncologist was incredibly knowledgeable and caring, and was sensitive to the other health concern that I had on my plate. They always made sure to call me with my test results as soon as they were available to ease my anxiety. Anytime I called Fox Chase for anything, they knew my name and treated me with care and respect.

I cannot express how grateful I am for the work that Fox Chase does and for the people there who are saving lives every day. They are top notch in my book.

 

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