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New Chemotherapy Treatment, New Lease On Life

  • 07.06.2016
Breast cancer survivor

Diana Freeman, a two-time patient at Sierra Nevada Cancer Center, may have stage IV metastatic breast cancer, but she wakes up happy every morning. “I’ve been undergoing treatment for just short of a year and I do feel better now than when I did when I was initially diagnosed,” said the 58-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident. “I lost my hair shortly after starting the treatment but it did come back with a new treatment regime, thicker and bright white. My skin doesn’t have a blemish on it, a surprise side effect.”

Before her second cancer diagnosis in 2015, Diana blamed her chronic pain on arthritis and getting older. “Getting up in the morning for work was rough. Getting to church was difficult,” Diana said. “Now, when I’m at church worshipping or singing, I feel so blessed. I don’t feel death around me.” Diana added, “I’m not in denial and I don’t have a problem with death. I just don’t feel it there anymore.”

So how does a patient who first battled breast cancer 14 years ago, and who is now up against metastatic breast cancer, wind up with such an optimistic outlook? Diana attributes it to her strong faith, Dr. Perez and the fact that his finger is clearly on the pulse of the latest cancer treatments. “Dr. Perez is really on top of things. Recently, he wanted me to switch to a new, different treatment. Insurance insisted the new regime had not been approved for use with my diagnosis so we had to fight to get it approved. Sierra Nevada Cancer Center did the bulk of the work, and they made it happen.” 

As for Dr. Perez, Diana had kind words to share. “I would recommend him in a minute. He wants to find a way to heal his patients. He’s not just going to do what he did yesterday. If there’s something out there that’s going to heal me, he’ll find it.” 

With Diana’s ongoing weekly treatments, she is naturally excited about the opening of the South Lake Tahoe office, now open every Wednesday. “I won’t have to drive all the way to Carson. It’ll be nice.” 

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