It was January 2013 and Cheryl had been feeling pain that felt like gas pain that wouldn’t go away. After about a month, her daughter convinced her to go to the doctor. The walk-in clinic physician sent her to the Emergency Department at Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington.
That was on a Monday, and by Thursday doctors were performing surgery to remove part of her colon. Cheryl had colon cancer. But the bad news wasn’t finished. More testing revealed the cancer had also spread to her liver, and it ended up too widespread for doctors to remove it. It’s been a pretty rough few years, but Cheryl says her oncologist, Syed Haider, MD and the staff at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Burlington have made all the difference.
“I’m so glad he’s my oncologist. He always talks to me honestly, but never lets me get down. And the staff got to know me and all my family and friends that came to treatments with me. I never felt like I was just another patient, it was so comforting,” Cheryl explains.
Even now, in 2017, the cancer in her liver is still there; Cheryl says she’s not cancer free but “cancer stable.” She takes oral chemotherapy treatment, but has returned to work. She knows her battle isn’t over, but she’s come such a long way from the low of 97 pounds and loss of hair during the intense days of her treatment.
And because her treatment has been going on for several years, Cheryl has experienced the transition of care from the clinic in Burlington to the new Aurora Health Center – Southern Lakes. She says the expanded space and additional bays for treatment have made the experience much more pleasant for patients. She looks forward to seeing it in the summer when the healing garden is in full bloom. She is incredibly grateful for the donors who are sending a message to her and the many others who will need it, that they matter.
“Someone you know will be impacted by this disease. If you can make their fight that much more comfortable and safe… well you’ve given them the best gift possible,” she says.
And you can do that for cancer patients in western Racine and Walworth counties by attending this year’s Crystal Ball on February 4. Proceeds from the event will enhance the cancer programs offered at the new Aurora Health Care – Southern Lakes. To purchase a ticket or learn more, CLICK HERE.