Posted by Divya Sathyanarayanan

A cancer diagnosis interrupted Karen Carpenter’s life forever. She was shocked and didn’t know what to expect. Her everyday life changed from normal to battling cancer. After being diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, Carpenter was referred to CHA HPMC Oncologist Dr. Ghassan Al Jazayrly. Read Carpenter’s inspiring story of battling cancer and finding hope under a CHA HPMC physician’s care.

“When I found about my cancer, I was afraid and scared. During my first appointment with the doctor, I was crying because the only thing in my mind was ‘death’. Stage IV is serious and I know it will attack the living organs. It did attack my left lung and liver. My chemotherapy had to be strong and I was very scared. But sitting in the room and talking to my doctor gave me hope.

Dr. Al-Jazayrly is caring, sensitive, sympathetic, responsive, receptive, considerate, and warmhearted. He is a wonderful person who is gentle and caring. He gave me hope, even though I know I am still in the woods. But I am more positive about my cancer with the help of my doctor. I love to see him rub his hands—that means the treatment he started for me is not working and so he is figuring out a new one. He also makes me laugh. When I ask him was I going to die, he says ‘I’m not god, but I will try my best to help you.’ Then I knew he was being realistic as more doctors will not tell you the truth or give you time to listen to you. But Dr. Al-Jazayrly did.

God put him in my life and I am grateful. If I die today or tomorrow, I have no regrets because I had someone who cares as a doctor. I even recommended Dr. Al-Jazayrly to my nephew because other doctors were not helping. Dr. Al-Jazayrly zeroed in on the kind of cancer my nephew had. He is good at what he does.”

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