Friday, May 16, 2008

Letter to my Patients (sent to some 5,200 I have been lucky to know)

Dear Patients,

I am writing to ask for your patience and understanding, and also for your support and prayers.I will be taking several months off from my medical practice starting in June in order to have a bone marrow transplant for my chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) which was originally diagnosed almost three years ago. This procedure offers a real chance for a cure for an otherwise incurable cancer, but it does mean I will soon have the immune system of a newborn and so will be vulnerable to infections for several months after the procedure. That translates into not being able to practice the career I have so loved for the last 30 years until I have sufficiently recovered. 

I will miss you all deeply, but I will be back for sure and look forward to the privilege of being part of your healthcare team in the not too distant future. In my absence, all the doctors and providers of the St. Jude Heritage Medical Group in Diamond Bar will be available and will have access to all your electronic medical records. These are my trusted partners and you will be well cared for.

The next weeks will be very busy for me and I ask for your understanding. The shoe is on the other foot, and I have many pre-transplant doctors’ appointments to be scheduled and rescheduled. For this doctor, having leukemia has been a crash course in compassion as I have learned much about being a patient. In order to accommodate appointments with as many of you as possible before my absence, please consider a group visit. Check on your refills and lab follow-ups and do request those as soon as possible.

I am also asking for your personal help. Please contact my medical assistant and right arm, Jennie Taylor who will be keeping a list of those of you who would be kind enough to volunteer to donate blood (A-) or platelets (all blood types are OK) as I certainly will need transfusions. What I can’t use will be used gratefully by others. There is a desperate need for blood products of all types so please use this letter as a reminder to consider donating. I am posting a blog, parts of which soon will be in the form of a comic book written with my son. There l have a place for comments and emails so we can stay in contact. Prayers and messages and email are all welcome. You can find my blog at: http://bkoffman.blogspot.com

I am blessed to have such a fine group of doctors and other professionals through St Jude and elsewhere caring for me. I am blessed to have such a wonderful group of patients that I have been able to care for. I look forward to many more years together.

Be well. God bless.

Brian Koffman MDCM

10 Comments:

Blogger Linda Chesson said...

Dr. Koffman,

I have always known what a driving force you are in your Practice at St. Jude's. My husband and I have been patients of some 33yrs(and counting)! Many times we don't see you due to scheduling problems, but we'd always like to! *S*

What a great plan to go from "strength to strength"...a well thought-out one that I know will succeed.

Looking forward to being a "pesky
patient" again soon,(suspenders
or not!) with my "unremarkable" problems when you have returned from your *very* remarkable adventure.

God Bless You and your Family
Love,
Linda & Ed Chesson

P.S. Gotta LOVE those pictures, Will! :-)

May 17, 2008 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger m said...

Dr. Koffman,

Couldn't sleep- was thinking of your letter we received today. Mike and I sat stunned and my eyes were filled with tears as I read your words. You have been my doctor for over 16 years- since college. I have seen your children grow up through your many pictures just as I have seen your grey hair creep in and the ponytail go...

You have seen me through some of life's challenges and I always remember a certain pearl of wisdom you sent my way when I was facing one of the tougher times. You told me that "the only way out is through" and I have never forgotten that. So, my Dr. Koffman, I offer you back that beautiful pearl to remind you during this trying time. It worked for me and I know how tough you will hold on until this is through and you are cured.

Mike and I want to donate blood for you. I will check with our Miss Jennie about where & when. I also want you to know that we will be keeping close tabs on you and we a looking forward to your collaboration with your talented Will (please tell Will we love his work- boy did he capture you!).

Our thoughts and many prayers are with you, your wife and kids.

Love from your favorite patient,

Megan K.

May 18, 2008 at 3:21 AM  
Blogger lisagre said...

Dr. Koffman,

I was stunned by your news, but inspired by your courageous words. I have every confidence that you will win this fight and be back practicing medicine soon.

Your knowledge and advice in the area of headache prevention has truly changed my life, and I can't thank you enough. You have supported so many in their efforts to improve their health. Please know that now you have OUR support!

All the best to you and your family,
Lisa Greathouse

May 23, 2008 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger lisagre said...

Dr. Koffman,

I was stunned by your news, but inspired by your courageous words. I have every confidence that you will win this fight and be back practicing medicine soon.

Your knowledge and advice in the area of headache prevention has truly changed my life, and I can't thank you enough. You have supported so many in their efforts to improve their health. Please know that now you have OUR support!

All the best to you and your family,
Lisa Greathouse

May 23, 2008 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

Dr. Koffman,

I just got your letter in the mail and felt the need to go onto your blog and wish you well in your treatment and recovery. I'm pulling for ya. I haven't seen you at St. Jude's in a few years, but always enjoyed having you as my doctor. So, rest up, get well and I look forward to seeing you again in the future!

Justin Lancaster

May 26, 2008 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Little Ms. Diamond Bar 1977 said...

Dr. Koffman,
All three of us have been lucky to be treated by you and we will miss you greatly while you are away. We are praying for your complete and rapid healing. You are a true "warrior", fight on!

The Goyers
Jeff, Valerie and James
http://valsbellafesta.blogspot.com

May 29, 2008 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Zubair B said...

Dr. Koffman,

Got your letter and was deeply moved by your news. My family and I have been praying for your successful treatment and speedy recovery.

You have been my doctor for the past 9 years and your knowledge of natural medications is truly unique.

Mehnaz and I want to donate blood for you and will contact your assistant.

God Bless you and your family,

Zubair Bawany

May 30, 2008 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Patti Dolce said...

Hi Dr. Koffman,
I feel very positive about the outcome of your transplant. God is a good guy and I know that he is watching over you. He knows how important you are to so many people and I know in my heart that in a short period of time you will be taking many more traveling adventures (and work) again.

My heart is with you now and I am praying for you daily.

Stay as positive as you always have been.

Patti Dolce

June 8, 2008 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger MARYLE said...

Dear Dr. Koffman:

Thank you for your letter informing us of your medical condition and impending bone marrow transplant. Just wanted to let you know that we are lifting you up in prayer. This past Sunday your name was included in the Prayer of the Faithful during all the Masses at our parish (St. Denis), and we are remembering you and your family daily in our private prayers as well. May God in His mercy grant you peace, and strength of body and spirit. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery,

Tom and Mary LeDonne

P.S. We are big "fans" of St. Jude, who has been a powerful intercessor for us throughout our lives, so we are also enlisting his help on your behalf.

July 10, 2008 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger john sierra said...

Dear Dr. Koffman,my family and I hope and prey you are doing well.We all are looking forward to seeing again soon. Via con dios.
John Sylvia Moneque and Selena

August 20, 2008 at 11:04 AM  

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