The city of Houston, the Medical and Oncology world and the world at large, has lost a true hero.
The literal savior of my life, Dr. Robert Amato has passed away. Taken by the very thing he has saved countless others from; Cancer.
If it had not been for Dr. Amato, I would have been worm shit over 20 years ago due to a late stage 4 metastasized tumor. Yet here I am, while this man who will forever be my hero had to go away.
I met him when he was at MD Anderson. Before that, I had been doing my chemotherapy in my hometown of Beaumont. But my city’s oncology group, being subpar as they are, were not aggressive enough and my cancer stopped shrinking and began to resist. This changed my remission chances from 70% (this was in the 90’s) to a 50/50 toss up at best. The odds weren’t in my favor.
My parents decided to immediately transfer to MDA, where I met Dr. Amato. Until that time, I’d never met a man who was so gallant and confident in his profession. It was magnetic and infectious. Even with bad odds I was never afraid and was ready to deal with anything and everything about to transpire.
Boy did it ever. They were very upfront and were not understating when they told me what I would be going through. Within 6 months time which included recovery time between treatments, I went from 165lbs to about 97lbs. There were times when I couldn’t even hold down water and was vomiting nothing but bile every 5 minutes.
However, due to his aggressive method and a couple of surgeries later, I was given an official remission report barely One year after my initial diagnosis.
My allergies have been acting up a lot today, especially since I try to reason why great men like this get taken from our world too soon. As a father it hurts even more to know that his mother and father will be burying him instead of the other way around.
Like any true gentleman, Dr. Amato would never have considered himself a hero, rather a man just doing his best to save lives. But he was my hero and the savior of my life. He gets full credit for that, and deservingly so.
Thank you for your work, your passion and compassion Dr. Amato. The world is not as good without you.