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Family And Friends: Some Of The Best Medicine

  • 08.17.2016

breast cancer patient

Victoria Allan of Fallon, Nevada is a medical surgical nurse who loves caring for others. But a few years ago, she wasn’t doing a very good job of taking care of #1. She knew something was wrong with her body, and she was pretty sure it was breast cancer. “I was in denial for about a year,” said the now 71 year old. “I knew what I had was serious. It was a little painful but I handle pain well.”

 

Finally, she confided in a friend. “She pushed me to go see my doctor,” Victoria said. “Up until then, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to treat it or not. I had a lot of anxiety.”

 

As it turns out, she was right about her self-diagnosis. She had breast cancer and was referred to Dr. Perez by her primary care physician. Victoria, who brought her friend along to the initial consultation for moral support, had a positive first impression of Dr. Perez. “I really, really respect him and like him. He tells the truth, which I appreciate. And I appreciate his expertise.”

 

One week after the first visit, Victoria started chemotherapy. “If I hadn’t started treatment, I wouldn’t have made it more than a few weeks,” Victoria surmised. “The cancer had spread. I had it in my breast, my bones and my lungs. Luckily, it hadn’t spread to my brain.”

 

In 2014 at the start of treatment, Victoria had 580 tumors in her body. After one and a half years of I.V. chemo plus months of oral chemo, her tumor count is down to 45. “Dr. Perez is a miracle worker,” she said.

 

Support Means The World

Throughout treatment, Victoria had a lot of support from her friends and family. “My sister from Arizona and my daughter from St. Louis came to stay with me,” she said. “I don’t think I could’ve done it without the support of friends and family, or Dr. Perez and his staff.”

 

Today, Victoria has gained back her endurance and strength. “I can pretty much do what I used to be able to do before cancer. I even went back to work because I enjoy it. It helps me to get stronger, too, with 12-hour shifts.”

 

Since returning to work, Victoria has cared for a few cancer patients who were in the hospital for non-cancer-related issues. “I shared my experience with them,” she said. “When I talk to them, they know that I really understand what they’re going through.”

 

When asked about the advice she would give someone with health concerns, Victoria said, “Get on it ASAP. Do what you have to do and fight it. Don’t hesitate like I did. I’m thankful I went through chemo, and I’m thankful for my friends and family for their support.”

 

Whether you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, or you’re just looking for ways to stay healthy, subscribe to Sierra Nevada Cancer Center’s newsletter. You’ll get current cancer-related health news delivered to your inbox. Also, you can stay connected with Dr. Perez on Facebook.

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