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As an oncology community we still have a lot to do, that more and more children do not need to go into the palliative care clinic and get cured – Gevorg Tamamyan
May 28, 2023, 16:27

As an oncology community we still have a lot to do, that more and more children do not need to go into the palliative care clinic and get cured – Gevorg Tamamyan

Quoting Gevorg Tamamyan on LinkedIn,

“When people ask me, isn’t it difficult to work as a pediatric oncologist, I should tell them to ask that question to pediatric palliative care professionals. For me the most difficult thing always has been the moment, when you can’t say to the child, that everything is going to be ok, the moment when you feel the most useless person in the world.
A year ago we opened the first pediatric cancer palliative care clinic in Armenia, with the mission that no child with cancer suffers, when we are not able to cure them.

From the time I wrote this article in 2018 (below), a lot of things changed positively. Now we have a palliative care clinic and a team, access to medications improved, but as an oncology community we still have a lot to do, that more and more children do not need to go into the palliative care clinic and get cured!

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The Road Home

Maral was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when she was 23 years old. Initially, she achieved a complete remission after receiving standard chemotherapy close to her home in Vanadzor, a small city in northern Armenia. Three years later, the disease recurred and she achieved short-term remissions with several standard chemotherapy regimens, but the disease kept recurring, and at that time, stem-cell transplantation was not available in Armenia.

We first met in the late fall, when Maral came to our clinic with her mother. Our clinic in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, was a 2-hour drive from her home, and as a result of her family’s limited resources, her mother had to put in extra hours at work to pay for each trip. Maral was thin, quiet, and dispirited, but her wide, pleading eyes clearly conveyed her inner strength and resilience. The long-term corticosteroids she had been taking for pain had left her cushingoid, and the lymphadenopathy in her neck limited her movement. Her voice was thin and hoarse, as though she had just finished singing a grand opera. She was struggling. Before I met Maral, my clinical experience with Hodgkin lymphoma had been remarkably good; none of my patients had ever died of the disease.

The rest of the article is here: The Road Home / Journal of Clinical Oncology”

Source: Gevorg Tamamyan / LinkedIn