Back on Track: How Good Could It Be

Businessman and racecar enthusiast, Jonathan Holtzman, adopted a get-down-to-business mindset when approaching his tonsil cancer diagnosis and gets back to life before cancer.

Jonathan Holtzman was the type of guy who rarely got sick, so he avoided checking out a bump on his neck. Finally, he saw head and neck specialist Tamar Ghanem, M.D., and learned he had tonsil cancer. Faced with a decision for radiation or surgery, Jonathan was motivated by trust and chose surgery. Immediately, he adopted a get-down-to-business mindset, asking Dr. Ghanem to schedule his recovery date.

Everyone has something they feel passionate about, says Dr. Ghanem, and my goal is to help patients return to their passion. For Jonathan, passion means working with endangered wildlife, race cars and his business.

Patients with head and neck cancer typically receive long-term care for five years. Some patients have maintained their relationship with Dr. Ghanem for as long as 12 years. “It is very rewarding to have a good physician-patient relationship,” says Dr. Ghanem.

In an unusual way, cancer can inspire hope in some people. Before cancer, there were plenty of tomorrows, says Jonathan. After cancer, many people feel more emotional. They’ve thought of how bad it could be, but Jonathan wants to tell people “how good it could be.”

Dr. Ghanem calls Jonathan extremely positive. But Jonathan calls it “taking one day at a time” and watching for things to get better. Because they do.

Watch Jonathan's Story

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