Drusilla “Dru” Beveridge, a 73-year-old Carson City resident, was not surprised when she was handed a cancer diagnosis two years ago. The symptoms she had prior to a routine colonoscopy led her to believe something was not right. “I was told that I had stage 2A rectal cancer,” Dru said. “I was fine though. I’m a very strong person. I have Jesus, and I have family and friends who are very supportive.”
Her gastroenterologist referred her to Sierra Nevada Cancer Center. Though she never questioned the referral, others did. “Friends asked why I didn’t go to the big hospital instead. I trusted my doctor,” Dru said. And she’s glad she did. “When you’re going through cancer, you want people to be nice to you. They know you by name here. They are so supportive.” She added, “Dr. Perez is a very nice, polite doctor, and very educated.”
Dru started treatment with a strong dose of chemotherapy. She did not tolerate it well, so Dr. Perez quickly adjusted the delivery. “After that, I didn’t get sick and I only lost a little hair.”
To keep her spirits up throughout treatment, Dru did two things. First, she made a conscious effort to dress nicely every day. “I tried to make myself look better, which made me feel better. Instead of wearing sloppy clothes and not wearing makeup or earrings, I dressed nicer,” she said.
Dru also embraced the support of her family and friends. One friend in particular, an artist, gave her a coloring book to help pass the time during and after treatment. It has become a hobby even after her chemotherapy treatment had ended. “Mentally, it soothes you. It’s calming to think about how to create a beautiful picture,” Dru said. “I’ve gotten more creative.”
After on year of fighting cancer with chemotherapy, radiation and two surgeries, Dru is approaching her one-year anniversary of being cancer free. She reflected how having cancer has affected her. “I’m more spiritual now, more thankful and kinder.”
Her advice to anyone facing a cancer diagnosis is simple: “Come to Sierra Nevada Cancer Center. The staff is great. Dr. Perez is wonderful.”