Genesis Made My Cancer Treatment Easy
Friday, October 28, 2022
- Cancer Care
By Diane Wills
When I had difficulty swallowing earlier this year, I brushed it off. My neck would swell a little and then go back down. I thought it was a thyroid issue.
Then, it got worse.
I started choking on food. Pills started getting wedged in my throat. I knew I had to make an appointment with my primary care provider. When he examined my throat, he referred me to an ear, nose and throat doctor.
On April 15, I got a CAT scan, which led to a biopsy that revealed lymphoma. I was referred to Dr. Bastola and saw him on April 22. I was so grateful for how quickly Genesis responded.
I was scared to death going into the appointment, and when they asked me to rate my stress level from 1 to 10, I said “10.” Dr. Bastola told me the biopsy showed non-Hodgkin’s diffuse large B cell lymphoma, and it was aggressive. By aggressive, he meant the cells divided rapidly. The good news was, as it was aggressive it would respond well to chemo. I felt so relieved.
Nurse Navigator Annette Barr immediately had the necessary tests completed. I received the results from the blood work and echocardiogram the same day. I was impressed I received my test results so quickly.
Six days later, I started chemo.
I had seen the Genesis Cancer Care Center from Maple Avenue for years. My husband and I always thought it seemed nice, but we hoped never to have to use it.
Yet, on April 28, I was ready to start my first round of chemo. Everyone was so nice and welcoming, from the receptionists to the nurses. I felt good just walking into the center.
Three days after my first round of chemo, the Cancer Care Center staff called to check on me. I told the nurse I could no longer feel the mass in my throat.
In the three weeks between rounds of chemo, I recovered at home. I was extremely fatigued for a few days, then I‘d feel better … and then we’d start the cycle over. Through it all, I had a great support system in my family and friends, the team at the Cancer Care Center and God. Before I was diagnosed, I routinely went to a local workout facility with my husband, and I think that helped with the side effects.
Dr. Bastola initially thought I’d do six rounds of chemo, but the PET (positron emission tomography) scan after my third round was clear of cancer cells. He said we’d have to do one more round of chemo to make sure the cancer was gone.
“I was in good hands from start to finish.”
At the end of June, after my fourth round of chemo, I went back to Dr. Bastola. He told me I was in remission. I was amazed at how quickly the cancer went away, and I was so grateful to Dr. Bastola that I hugged him and cried.
Now, I feel great. I’m taking life day by day. I’m spending time with Dave, my husband of 51 years, my two children, five grandchildren and my first great- grandchild. I was very careful during chemo, but I’m spending time with my friends again. At the end of July, I went back to the gym for the first time since chemo. I started slowly, but I’m building my strength back up.
I could not be more grateful for the care I received. Knowing I had cancer was terrifying, but Dr. Bastola and the Cancer Care Center team made my treatment feel easy. I went in with a positive attitude and prayers, and God was with me every step of the way. I was in good hands from start to finish.
Learn more at genesishcs.org/cancer.