"Without the overwhelming love, support and care of the dedicated staff at Kirkland Cancer Center, I could not have made it through this."
Lisa Roberts was only 48 years old when she received a diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Stage 3b, after noticing a sore, inflamed area on the outside of one of her breasts. A biopsy of the area confirmed her diagnosis. Her cancer had not yet spread, but she still had a major fight ahead.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a rare and very aggressive form of breast cancer that progresses rapidly, usually in a matter of months or even weeks. IBC accounts for only about 2% of all breast cancers diagnosed in the U.S. Women diagnosed with this disease, in general, do not survive as long as women diagnosed with other types of breast cancer.
Lisa completed five months of chemotherapy in November 2016 at Kirkland Cancer Center, then underwent a total mastectomy at the end of November. She then underwent six weeks of radiation then another 5 months of chemotherapy, which she finished in July 2017. Lisa’s life as a wife, mother and caretaker of others was altered dramatically as she allowed others to care for her.
“Without the overwhelming love, support and care of the dedicated staff at Kirkland Cancer Center (oncologists, nurses, receptionists, appointment desk representatives, phlebotomists, volunteers, and more), I could not have made it through this.”
She also credits her family for their role in helping her along her journey to recovery. Her husband, son, and siblings have stayed by her side. She also acknowledges the major role of her faith, knowing that “if I could have faith as strong as a mustard seed, God would move this cancerous mountain.”
“My husband is a physician, and when he said himself that he recommended Kirkland Cancer Center for my treatment, I listened,” says Lisa. “The research trials and care available here are just as great as the work being done at Vanderbilt or M.D. Anderson, so why would I go anywhere else with Kirkland Cancer Center in my backyard?”
"I would never want to go anywhere else. I received the best care possible and I didn’t have to disrupt my life or my family to receive treatments."
Cara Evans has always lived a healthy, active life. An avid runner, Cara spent some time as an adventure guide in Colorado before returning home to Tennessee and the Jackson area. When she gave birth to her daughter in February 2014, the following months proved dif cult. Cara blamed her health issues—weight loss, night sweats, a constant cough—on postpartum problems. She continued with her work as a physical therapist assistant as she settled into her role as a new mother. A few months after her daughter’s birth; however, she noticed a lump on her collarbone. Cara knew she needed to visit a physician to have the lump examined.
"I remember walking into the Kirkland Cancer Center here in Jackson and taking a deep breath. One of the nurses greeted me and helped me to get started. I learned that these nurses, aids, volunteers and office personnel really cared. They took the time to explain things. It really helps because sometimes you don’t know what questions to ask. These ladies were like angels. You see it in their eyes. The feeling there is always up and hopeful."
Jan Williams, former patient and volunteer ACS Ambassador of the Alice and Carl Kirkland Cancer Center
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