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HOME arrow PATIENT & VISITORS arrow Patient Stories
Kris’ Story

One August morning, getting ready for the day, I noticed something that looked different on my skin.  I was in a hurry, so I shoved it to the back of my mind.  I will watch, see if it changes… I was sure it probably had to do with my age.  It didn’t go away.  I knew I would be getting a reminder for my annual mammogram in October, so I decided to wait until then.  It turned out to be early stage breast cancer.  I was very fortunate to have noticed a change…a dimpling in my skin.  It was my warning sign.  I am the fourth one in my family to receive news of breast cancer.  We all caught it early, and all are breast cancer survivors.  We are living proof that early detection saves lives.

 

I feel even more fortunate to have received all my care in Spencer.  It started with Carol Olberding suspecting something was wrong, sending me immediately to the hospital for a mammogram, which lead to an ultrasound, followed by a needle biopsy, confirming Carol’s suspicions. It was very small. Dr. Hilsabeck called me with the results.  We talked about what I should do next.  Life changed with that phone call.  I immediately asked him about the possibility of receiving my care here.  As always, he offered great advice on my choices to stay in Spencer or go elsewhere, and said it was up to me. 

 

Staying in Spencer to receive my care was an easy choice for me. I wanted to be taken care of by people I know, people I trust.  I had full confidence in Dr. Slattery to perform my bi-lateral mastectomy and Dr. Evelhoch to perform my reconstruction surgery.  They, along with everyone else at the hospital, gave me great medical care and emotional care to get me through the entire process.

 

I knew with my family history, there would be a good chance I would need to be a patient at Abben Cancer Center as well.  I was very familiar with Abben and many of its staff because my dad had received his care there a few years ago.  Always caring, cheerful and understanding, the staff helps you through a very uncomfortable treatment process.  I remember touring Abben before it opened and wondering that day how many of us would have our lives affected by cancer in some way.  The number is greater than I would have ever imagined.

 

I am so thankful for everyone that has been involved in my medical care in Spencer.  It was a good choice for me and for my family. I wanted my children to have very little changes in their daily life, and I believe, for the most part, that certainly happened.  We are fortunate to have the medical community and wonderful facilities we do in Spencer. The expertise and the technology to provide great health care here, made my choice easy.