In this episode, our hosts Andy Little and John Casey are joined by our guests Cameron Meyer and his wife Carly to discuss Cameron’s diagnosis of leukemia during residency.
Cameron was on his way to the mall with his wife, mom, and four children when he got the call from his primary care physician telling him that he had leukemia based on his routine lab results. This news was unexpected, as he was young and overall healthy. He was a 3rd year EM resident at Doctors Hospital in Columbus, Ohio – one year from graduating and becoming an attending physician.
Further testing revealed that he had chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The next steps involved Cameron making an appointment with a hematologist, but the earliest available appointment was 2 weeks out. Within those 2 weeks, Cameron researched his diagnosis and began grappling with the reality that some forms of aggressive CLL have a prognosis of 5 years. He described an inexplicable feeling of loneliness as well as depression, pain, and suffering that he experienced at that time, despite having the support of his loving family.
It was this low point that gave him a better perspective on his personal life and his work. In retrospect, this experience helped him better empathize with his suffering patients and be more present and loving for his wife Carly, and his children. He also reflected on the incredible support he received from his residency program.
The reality of Cameron’s prognosis is that he can potentially live another 25 years without experiencing symptoms, or he can die in a matter of weeks from an illness his body is unable to fight off. Coming to terms with his diagnosis has allowed him to focus on his priorities in life, which are the relationships with his wife Carly, and his children. John concluded that the overarching themes for this discussion were to be thankful for what you have and to live life to the fullest, as you are not promised anything in life.
Post by Jordan Palmer, OMS-III
About Our Guests:
Cameron Meyer, DO graduated from Doctors Hospital EM residency program in Columbus, Ohio. He is currently an EM attending physician at Mountain View Hospital living in Utah with his wife Carly Meyer and their four children.
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