Back pain caused by kidney stones lead the doctors to an incidental finding that Scott Dabbene had cancer. Supported by a loving family, his Getinge colleagues in Team Dabbene, and above all, his own positive attitude towards life, he battled the disease without leaving room for any “what ifs”.
On his first full day of vacation earlier this year, Scott Dabbene felt a strong back pain. Since he could barely walk, his wife took him to the emergency room.
“Looking back, it feels like a crazy story. The doctors did a cat scan showing it was kidney stones causing the pain. But they found something else too, a large tumor on my left kidney,” recalls Scott, who is a Regional Sales Manager within Critical Care at Getinge in the US.
Initially Scott went blank. He quickly gathered himself and brought up a few of questions.
“I told my wife and the doctor not to worry, we will beat this. For me, it was fortunate finding out so early thanks to the kidney stones. When I was younger, I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and that has worked out for me, so I really know what a positive mindset can do. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
The doctors prescribed Scott medication and asked him to enjoy the rest of his vacation before going home to deal with the cancer. Together with his wife and their twin boys, he spent the next few days at the beach.
“The diagnosis made me more present than ever before while on vacation. I put aside my phone and e-mails, I just sat in the water on a paddle board and watched the kids play. It was actually awesome.”
When he got back, his lucky kidney stones were eliminated. Next stop was the operating room where the medical team removed the tumor-affected kidney.
“They took it out along with some tissue around the kidney that luckily tested negative for cancer cells. The treatment was strictly surgical; meaning no chemotherapy, radiation or any other type of treatment. In that way, I also feel very blessed.”
Scott is going to the hospital for regular follow-ups, and today, the malignant tumor discovered by an incidental finding is gone. He is doing well and is focusing on staying as healthy as possible.
“At first, I didn’t tell many people about my condition because I was determined it would work out well and didn’t want any pity. The reaction I wanted was “this stinks, but you got this.”
An important mindset from working within sales was not to waste energy on things that are out of his control.
“For me, there are no what ifs and I think that has helped a lot. Of course, there were a few times when I felt alone in this but that feeling quickly subsided knowing that so many people were thinking of me as evidenced by all the calls, texts and e-mails I received from my family, friends and Getinge colleagues. It meant a lot and helped get me through this.”
Scott is now eager to return to work; to a job and a team that he loves.
“The Critical Care team at Getinge has built up a beautiful culture throughout the years. It’s that type of culture I believe most companies aspire to achieve. We are a wonderful team. We can work independently of one another and recognize that we are all part of a team. We understand the bigger picture and we strive towards the same goals. We genuinely care for each other and want to see everyone succeed.”
Scott has received numerous greetings from colleagues all over the globe, who wish him a quick recovery and return. They also printed Team Dabbene t-shirts and made him a superman doll with his face imprinted on it.
“I am proud to be part of this team and feel the love and support. The backing I’ve received from Getinge and Critical Care has been inspirational. I look forward to getting back to work”, says Scott.
“Going through cancer taught me to appreciate all the relationships and people in my life and not take them for granted. My wife and I decided that moving forward, during the holidays and birthdays, instead of showering our kids with gifts, we will also go on vacation more often and plan more time together. I would rather give them experiences we can all carry with us long after the gifts are gone.”
Job: US Sales Manager Critical Care at Getinge
Family: Wife Erica and twin boys Alex and Jordan, age 7
Hobbies: I love sports, spending time with my family and travelling when I can. I also like to engage in groups that work with cystic fibrosis patients and their families.