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A Voice Rises Up against Cancer: Finding Strength through Adversity

Patty is a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister. When she was diagnosed with cancer, it affected her whole family. That's why she sought support through ProMedica's Survivor Center.

Between the loss of her mother and her husband's medical complications, Patty's own irregular mammogram almost went without a closer look. Her December 2000 breast cancer diagnosis led to feeling lost at first, but Patty said her doctor and the medical staff guided her through every step of the process. She was relieved when her doctor immediately recommended a lumpectomy and radiation – the uncertainty was the worst part.

After her surgery and treatment, Patty became active in the Survivor Center — home of the Hickman Cancer Center on the ProMedica Flower Hospital campus — where she received additional support and resources.

She connected with other patients while receiving radiation treatment by forming a "breakfast club," which gave them a chance to get to know one another. The technicians noticed this and arranged for her to meet even more patients, which made her feel good she was making a difference in other patients' lives. And she still keeps up with all those friends she made over coffee and eggs.

"It is a blessing," said Patty. "It is humbling and I can be helpful to others. I lived through it because I believe there is a reason for it. I look at life differently. We need to put what’s important first. I love work, but family is more important. I can do both, but with balance. Life isn’t just about me. We’re in it together. Why me? Thank God it happened. I can deal with it through my strength."

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