Ashley Richards - Genesis HealthCare System - Zanesville, Ohio

Help With More than Cancer Treatments

Ashley Richards found out she had cancer on a Monday, learned she was losing her job on Thursday and had emergency surgery on Friday. “Everything hit at once,” Ashley said. Her symptoms began when Ashley didn’t feel well. Then she noticed swelling on her left side. “My left hand was bigger than my right,” she said laying her hands in front of her.

A Computed Tomography (CT scan) and biopsies showed Ashley had Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Before starting chemotherapy, Ashley had a required electrocardiogram (EKG) that showed there was extra fluid on her heart. She had emergency surgery to remove the fluid.

Calming Fears

Ashley had her first chemotherapy treatment while she was recovering from surgery, so she didn’t know what to expect during the second treatment. “I was scared and nervous,” Ashley said. “The nurse explained the medication, the treatment and calmed my fears. She was by my side the whole time. It made me feel safe and comfortable.”

Ashley was also comforted by the compassionate care from people she knew during chemotherapy and radiation. “People caring for me were friends I knew from high school or their parents – it felt like I was being cared for by family,” Ashley said. “If I had questions, they would help out any way they could.”

The Genesis Cancer Services staff helped Ashley in a variety of ways. Along with losing her job and insurance coverage, Ashley found out she had blood clots in both arms. Shyamal R. Bastola, M.D., hematology/oncology, contacted the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society so Ashley could receive some reimbursement for the $700 blood thinner injections she needed during the lapse in her insurance coverage.

“If I had questions about the paperwork, I’d bring it in, and the staff would help me fill out the forms and fax the paperwork,” Ashley said. “It was wonderful. I probably would have been buried in medical bills had it not been for Dr. Bastola and the cancer services staff.”

Continued WrapAround Care

Even though Ashley finished treatments and is cancer free, the WrapAround Care continues. “Every time I see the cancer services staff around town, they’ll take time to ask how things are going,” Ashley said. “It was comforting to be cared for by people I knew and know that I didn’t have to worry about paperwork or anything else.”

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