ReNae Hedges
Breast Cancer Survivor

Don and I were planning a trip to Arizona, and we were so excited. But, before we took off on vacation, I wanted to go and have my annual checkup done, just to get it out of the way. I went for my mammogram and to my surprise a small tumor was detected on my left breast. A sonogram confirmed it, and it was determined that I should have a biopsy done and remove the mass. After the surgery the doctor said, “Everything looks good. It does not appear to be cancer. I’ll see you in a week and after that you should be able to go to Arizona for the winter.” Sure sounded good to us.

The good news was that it was in the very beginning state. I would have to have another surgery as my chances without it were not that good. And, of course, radiation would be necessary after that.

My first thought, and then the first words out of my mouth, were “But we’re packed, loaded and ready for our trip. We have a wedding in Mexico to attend next Friday and I’ve been planning on this all year. I just can’t have cancer, not NOW!”

I figured I had two choices. I could have everything sent to a doctor in Arizona or I could come back to Wyoming in two weeks to have surgery and radiation.

I thought about it a little, but really, I knew I liked the surgeon I had, and if I was going to have to have radiation, I definitely wanted it to be in Casper, at a place I knew I could trust. There was no question. My choice was Rocky Mountain Oncology.

Then I started thinking about the radiation. Six weeks, 1 treatment a day, five days a week, 240 miles roundtrip. I can tell you that I definitely wasn’t looking forward to that.

I talked to Dr. White. He tried to help me explore my options, and he told me that I was a candidate for Partial Breast Irradiation. He explained the benefits, how it would work and the success they’d had with that treatment. The balloon could be inserted into my breast at the same time I had the surgery for the biopsy. To do 6 weeks of radiation in 5 days, 2 treatments a day, and get the same results, well that’s something. So I said let’s do it.

I knew I would get the very best care at Rocky Mountain. Dr. Tobin, the nurses, technicians, and office staff were awesome. I knew I wasn’t familiar with Dr. Purviance. I knew he had to be one of the best to be a part of the Rocky Mountain team. And, I got to know him. He really cares about you. Each and every one of them at the oncology center care about YOU and the treatment you’re having. You really do become part of the family!

I consider myself very lucky to have been a candidate for the Partial Breast Irradiation, and would encourage anyone in a similar situation to find out more about it for themselves. I am also very grateful to have received this treatment at such a wonderful place. I would definitely recommend Rocky Mountain to someone going through the same thing I went through. The staff, the level of care, it makes a difficult situation a little easier to handle when you have so many incredible people by your side to get you through it.