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A Granddaughter’s Love & Persistence Led Sandy To Dr. Perez

  • 10.05.2017

In early 2017, Sandy Sepsey of Fallon, Nevada had an uneasy feeling—as if a pill was stuck in her throat. She went to her general practitioner to investigate. While initial blood tests came back normal, Sandy knew something wasn’t right and asked for a chest x-ray. It revealed a mass in her right lung, prompting a biopsy that confirmed her suspicion. In March, she was diagnosed with non-operable small cell lung cancer.


Sandy’s granddaughter, Courtney, Googled oncologists in Fallon and Dr. Perez topped the list. “She looked at his qualifications and thought he sounded very knowledgeable. Her mom is an RN and she was impressed with him, too,” Sandy recalled. “They urged me to make an appointment at Sierra Nevada Cancer Center.”


To see Dr. Perez right away, Sandy and her husband traveled to the Carson City office. “I thought I was doomed—until I met Dr. Perez. He and his team encouraged me to go through treatment, and told me that many people before me have had successful results.”

Treatment Triumphs

Dr. Perez developed a treatment plan that included chemotherapy and six weeks of daily radiation. “The type of chemo that Dr. Perez decided upon seemed to be the thing for me,” Sandy said. “After three weeks, I went in for a CT scan and the mass had shrunk tremendously. Even the radiologist was amazed.” Though only half way done with her treatment, Sandy said she was already breathing better. “I had a handicap placard but three weeks into therapy, I didn’t need it anymore. My oxygen level had risen from about 88 to 95.”


In addition to the shrinking mass and growing oxygen levels, Sandy considers how she felt during treatment a victory, too. “I feel blessed. I didn’t have any horrible side effects. No nausea, no diarrhea–I had medicine for the symptoms but I didn’t have to take any of them. I did lose my hair, but it’s coming back.”


Sandy stayed at Merriner Cottages in Carson City, available to traveling cancer patients like herself, while she underwent both chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She finished on her 73rd birthday. “I did my last two radiation treatments in one day—the mandatory six hours apart—so I could go home. Being home with my husband and our three dogs was a great way to celebrate my birthday.”


Kudos & Advice

Sandy is grateful for her granddaughter’s love and persistence, and for the care she received at Sierra Nevada Cancer Center. “Dr. Perez is very personable. He always shakes your hand and he shakes your companion’s hand. The nurses couldn’t have been better and the office staff is wonderful,” Sandy said. “They make you feel like you’re the only one in there, and they could have 15 patients in there.”


Her advice to patients is simple: “Put your trust in your doctor; lean on your support system (and thank them!); put your faith in God; and believe in miracles. They can and do happen.”


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