Working Together For Patients: Dina’s Patient Story | Bristol-Myers Squibb

I come from a crazy family of five. I lost my dad when I was young, but an Italian
family that you just can’t describe. You have to be Italian to understand us. We’re all loud, we’re crazy, we’re outspoken. I was lucky enough to marry someone who found
this amusing and not offensive. I wanted a country life for my daughter, so
we ended up in Woodbury, Connecticut. I wanted that simple lifestyle for her — less
materialistic and more about people. My name is Dina and this is my story. I started to realize I was a little more tired
than usual, and that was strange for me. I started to have a battery of tests run,
and during one of the tests a tumor was found and I was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t think anything ever prepares anyone
for a diagnosis of cancer. I wasn’t in fight mode right out of the
gate. I was very upset. I became a clinical trial patient pretty much
against the wishes of everyone around me except me and my doctor. He believed in it and I believed in him. It was absolutely amazing to get that news. He was absolutely thrilled, and my sister
sat in the corner and cried and I got into trouble for hugging him. I actually had to keep calling my sister and
asking her if what the doctor had said to me was true because I couldn’t believe it. Because as hard as it is to hear the words
“You have cancer” when you find out you’re doing so well, that’s almost just as hard
to absorb. I truly believe the people at BMS are so special. The dedication to the cause, the way they
care about their patients — unlike anything I have ever seen anywhere. And I am so proud to have been a part of their
clinical trial. Life after cancer is truly never the same. You have a greater appreciation for each day—no
matter what you’re doing. Every milestone is just that much more special,
because you know statistically you weren’t supposed to be here.

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