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Cancer Doctor Says He's Inspired by Patients

Updated: Monday, November 25 2013, 08:43 AM EST
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky (Liz Bonis) -- You're invited to have a real ball and celebrate a doctor from northern Kentucky being honored by the American Cancer Society. He plays a big role in the lives of breast cancer patients and medical reporter Liz Bonis introduces us to one of them in our Medical Edge.

When Dr. Doug Flora of Oncology Hematology Care first meets his patients,
he asks to hear about who they are before cancer came into their lives. When he met Leigh Anne Baker, her response was "there's people in a lot worse shape and I'm awesome."

Awesome he says is putting it mildly.  Most of the time those referred to a cancer specialist, "everyone is terrified, no one wants to meet me, and she came across across our doorstep and i remember going home that day excited."

He was excited about her possibilities for treatment options and long term survival. Already he's started her on a chemo cocktail. It will be followed by surgery and radiation. "I've always had the desire to fix people, but I haven't had the mechanisms, so now as the drugs are starting to catch up to these cancers, it's very exciting." 

Leigh Anne says this physician and this team have made all the difference in getting her through this part of her journey. He has a personal connection to breast cancer, and because of that, this is not a career, but a calling. "My mom was ill early, she was a breast cancer patient in her late 30's and didn't do well. And that sort of changes the way you are wired," says Dr. Flora.

Call it the way you are wired or the way you pay forward strength in tough times. For Leigh Anne it's worked, "my goal was through it all was to keep life as normal as possible, I didn't want cancer to own me."

Her cancer hasn't owned her. In fact, the team here says along the way she has actually inspired them. "What we do is grueling, it is a job, and you do everything you can, but you are exhausted, so every once in awhile  you meet someone who lights you up and you remember why you do this, and that was her, don't get weepy." Cancer Doctor Says He's Inspired by Patients

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