Annual Gala Allstar

Lisa Borders

I had been having heartburn symptoms for about 2 weeks, I tried everything over the counter that I could possibly think of and nothing would ease the pain. It finally got so unbearable the early morning of December 9, 2023 that I drove myself to the NRMC Emergency room. I thought, “Surely they can give me something stronger, since it felt as if nothing was working.” Dr. Hernandez was the ER doctor that night. After a consultation with him, he was not satisfied with the unknown, so he ran a series of tests. He was determined to get to the bottom of my mystery pain. After many tests and hours in the ER, Dr. Hernandez came in and told me he saw a mass on my lung which was wrapped around an artery. This was definitely not the news I was expecting or wanting to hear, but it was his diagnosis that saved my life! Dr. Hernandez only visits the states to work about 12 days a year, so I will be forever grateful that he was the one working that night! Dr. Hernandez sent me straight to Highland to see several specialists for more tests and scans. They found innumerable spots on my liver and took a biopsy of it. I met with Dr. Akhtar that Thursday afternoon, December 14, 2023, and he confirmed it all and said the vicious word that no one ever wants to hear, “Cancer!” I was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, which affects the nervous system and hormones. He informed me that my type of cancer was very rare and aggressive. We needed to start fighting immediately. If not, I was looking at a possible few weeks to a couple of months, at best. To say that fear struck me hard and fast is an understatement. A complete gut punch! Again, thank you Dr. Hernandez for not throwing in the towel that night! Because of the urgency to get started and the comfort I felt after speaking to Dr. Akhtar, I opted to do my treatments at home. Dr. Akhtar and his team got to work on me ASAP and I began treatments that very next Monday. I cannot say enough about the team at the NRMC cancer center. They are all extraordinary! Each of them went above and beyond to make sure that I was getting everything I needed, from the comfort of treatments to the many, many questions. Dr. Akhtar goes the extra mile for his patients. You could tell that he genuinely cares for each of us. Even over the phone, he could recall conversations/events that took place weeks prior to that call. Thank you to Dr. Akhtar and his staff for the tremendous love and support that was shown to me throughout this process! After my 3rd round of treatments I had a neuroendocrine specific PET scan at MDA and the results came back, no more cancer! As of March 14, 2023 I was in remission and heard the magical words “CANCER FREE!” It was only by the grace of God that I made it through this journey. I pray that others do not lose faith because I am a walking testimony in the miracles he still performs today! God is good, all the time!

Annual Gala Allstars