Cancer Survivor Stories
Whenever I reflect on my journey with breast cancer, I hardly remember the surgery, the hair falling out, how sick I felt on chemo or how tired I really was from radiation. No, I don't think of those things at all. What I remember most was the warm embrace my family and I received from the great community of Rockford in general, and SwedishAmerican Hospital in particular.
You see, my family and I had not been in Rockford four months when I was diagnosed with
breast cancer. We hardly knew anyone, save for the people I worked with. My children were
just beginning to form new friendships at school, and we were just getting to know our
neighbors, who had so graciously welcomed us to our new neighborhood. My sister had died
from Breast Cancer five years prior, so we understood the challenge before us.
Without a doubt, I know that I have received the best medical care around-from Dr. Bonelli,
who read through my historically difficult mammograms to see the malignancy, Dr. Brogren
who afforded me the best surgical outcome possible, and my dearest friends who stood with
me thru the biopsies. Dr. Wetzel would not permit me to wallow in the mire; she reminded me
that I had a high school graduation to attend in a few years and that she and I BOTH would
be there. My oncologist offered me a cutting-edge chemo regimen, which allowed
me to return to work sooner than would have been possible otherwise.
My greatest fears of not being able to care for my family were never realized because this
great community stepped right in and held us together, supported us, and nurtured me back
to health. The story to be told is that of Rockford and SwedishAmerican Hospital, and how
they opened their doors and hearts to strangers in our greatest time of need. That is the
real story to be told. And what a great story it really is!