I read with great interest and remembrance the Nov. 26 Style article “Their last hope, on his table” about the “controversial” surgeries performed by Dr. Paul Sugarbaker. For me there is no controversy. Twenty years ago, my wife was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritonei, an invariably fatal cancer. In contacting each of the main cancer centers in the United States, I was immediately referred to Dr. Sugarbaker, the leading expert on this disease.
After consultation, Dr. Sugarbaker agreed to accept my wife as a patient. We had no illusions regarding outcomes. We knew that any surgery was, at best, a holding action. Dr. Sugarbaker and his team at Washington Hospital Center spent 15 grueling hours in surgery removing numerous tumors from my wife’s peritoneal cavity. That surgery and the two that followed gave my wife, me and my family an additional seven years of her life, of which all but the last was of good quality.
For us, there was no controversy, no doubt, only hope. Dr. Sugarbaker and his colleagues, with their heroic efforts, gave us all that we could have hoped for. I am eternally grateful.
Eugene Silverman, Rockville