Susan Pontius, a doctor in veterinary medicine, and her husband, Tim Pontius, both received the devastating diagnosis several years apart.
Susan was first diagnosed with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma cancer in 2012. Prior to her diagnosis, she had noticed pain in her ear canal for a while. Then, in 2019, Tim was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Both Susan and Tim are being treated by Mohammad Al-Nsour, MD, at Mercy Health – Perrysburg Cancer Center.
“He and the staff have been so wonderful,” Susan says. “Dr. Al-Nsour jumped right in with both of our cases. He does the day-to-day therapy and treatments for us.”
With the Pontiuses’ cases, they are bought in and willing to do whatever was necessary for a successful treatment outcome. Dr. Al-Nsour shares patients like them are the reason he got involved in cancer care in the first place.
“Medicine should be about collaboration and teamwork,” he adds. “The patient needs to be a part of the process. Taking their concerns and input into the treatment plan is essential. We work hand in hand with all our patients to create a plan of care that is effective, functional and includes the multidisciplinary team necessary for success.”
Tim goes on to share that Dr. Al-Nsour doesn’t bring his ego into the room.
“It is always such a relief to have him sit down and spend time with you,” Tim says. “He is educational and instills a high degree of hope. The nurses at the infusion site here are amazing as well. If they are having a bad day you would never know it. They always are helpful and answer your questions.”
When asked what he’d like others to know after going through this process, Tim has the following to say.
“You have to be your own advocate. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Find out about alternative therapies in everything from nutrition to immune therapies.”
In addition to being patients at Mercy Health, the Pontiuses also generously donated money for a collaborative space on the second floor of Perrysburg Cancer Center called the “Pontius Education and Support Center.”
Susan shares, “we were both devastated when we received our diagnoses. However, we hope that they caught it early and we are doing everything we can possibly do to knock out the cancer.”
Learn more about the cancer care services we provide at Mercy Health.