Sutter Cancer Centers
Sharon - Cancer Won't Stop Me from Riding
"I will never forget it. Two days before Christmas I found out I had breast cancer," Sharon said.
After receiving yearly mammograms and having doctors express concern about something they saw on the film on more than one occasion, Sharon brushed off this appointment as another false alarm. Unfortunately, this time wasn’t a false alarm. Doctors were able to locate two masses – a cancer tumor and a cluster of atypical cells.
"I wasn’t surprised," she said. "One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and after being on hormones for 15 years. I knew something like this was going to happen. I just wasn’t suspecting cancer."
Sharon with her daughter, Tracy, a neonatal intensive care nurse, went to see Sutter West Medical Group general surgeon, Ginger Joyce, M.D. Dr. Joyce explained the lumpectomy procedure Sharon was going to receive. Dr. Joyce shared her philosophy of care with both Sharon and Tracy and they were overjoyed to be on the same page.
"After leaving the appointment with Dr. Joyce my daughter told me we don’t need to look anywhere else. Dr. Joyce was spot on with everything she said. I felt very fortunate to have such a wonderful and competent surgeon" said Sharon.
The lumpectomy was performed at Sutter Davis Hospital, where Dr. Joyce was able to extract all the cancerous tissue.
After the procedure Sharon discussed treatment options with oncologist Melissa Williams, M.D. Dr. Williams reviewed Sharon’s options with her and prescribed six weeks of radiation at Sutter Cancer Center in Sacramento.
Before her treatment at Sutter Cancer Center, she met with radiation oncologist, Janice Ryu, M.D. Dr. Ryu suggested that Sharon take some time to heal before beginning radiation. Being an avid bike rider, Sharon was tired of being sick and ready to start riding.
"I let Dr. Ryu know I had a large biking trip planned that I needed to be ready for," Sharon said chuckling as she remembered the conversation. "Dr. Ryu then said to me, ‘Okay I will let them know you are in a hurry.’"
Now, after the radiation therapy, Sharon is slowly regaining her strength back. She is pushing herself during her rides and recently tried an ambitious 60-mile ride to Dixon.
"I made it half-way to Dixon and my husband had to ride back to get the car to pick me up," Sharon said. "I know I am still recovering from my cancer, but it makes me feel wimpy."
Still after everything she has gone through, Sharon looks back and has fond memories of her experience.
"Sutter almost makes it worth having cancer," Sharon said, "Almost."
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