Sutter Cancer Centers
Arlene - A Successful Fight Again and Again
Every day might as well be Christmas for Arlene Eustice. The great-grandmother has come to take each day as a present that she can't wait to unwrap. She no longer takes her time for granted.
Christmas 2010 was a special time for Eustice. She and her husband, Jerry, were visited at their Fairfield home by their three daughters, two sons, 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. They combine to give the 67-year-old Eustice 30 reasons to visit her Sutter Health doctor on a regular basis for checkups. Her family has been in her corner during her three bouts with cancer.
"They have come home to be with me through all of this," says Eustice, whose children live as far away as Texas and Oklahoma. "Our family's very close. I'm very fortunate to have my family."
Her family has supplied support for Eustice since she was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2005. She then had a battle with basal cell cancer before learning in 2009 that she had breast cancer.
For Eustice, the third time was by no means a charm. She began to feel as if she was doomed. "Every time, you don't think they're going to say that word (cancer)," she says. "It's always been on the right side (of her body). Your mind wonders, 'Why is it is continuing to happen? Why me?'"
A lumpectomy was the first step for Eustice in combating breast cancer. She was then scheduled for radiation treatments and had to decide whether she would also go through chemotherapy.
The staff at Sutter Solano Cancer Center in Vallejo educated Eustice on the pros and cons of chemotherapy, arming her with ample information before she made an extremely difficult choice.
"I was in the middle if I wanted to do it or not do it," she says. "I always wonder if I made the right choice."
Her decision was to bypass chemotherapy. Shortly after doing so, her friend died from breast cancer after making the same choice. Eustice doesn't take being a three-time cancer survivor lightly.
"Every day when I wake up, I appreciate still being here," she says. "I wonder why I have survived three times. I live day by day. I'm here today and I'm going to be here tomorrow."
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