Pinnacle - Jupiter Medical Center

Fall 2018

Pinnacle is the official magazine of Jupiter Medical Center which provides world class health care in Palm Beach County

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Page 77 of 79

76 | PINNACLE | | PINNACLE | IN HER WORDS As told to Michele Meyer My Cancer Journey In May 2016, my back was hurting so badly, I went to an emergency room. I figured I had a kidney infection (not my first), but a CAT scan revealed two masses in my stomach. I don't know if the doctor used the word "cancer," but I just remember thinking, This can't be happening. I didn't ask many questions because I didn't want answers. I was numb. The next morning, I went to work at Jona- than's Landing Golf Club in Jupiter, where I'm the catering director, and called Dr. Lee A. Fox, Jupiter Medical Center's director of imaging. I'd known Dr. Fox for years through hospital func- tions at the club. "Leave work right now," he told me. "Get all your reports, and I'll meet you at my office. We'll read them together." Dr. Fox got me in immediately to see Jupiter Medical Center's chief of oncology—and that's when I learned I had Stage IV colorectal cancer, which had grown outside my colon and spread to my liver. I dreaded asking how long I would survive but couldn't suppress the question. "My goal is to keep you here many, many years," he replied. He was so kind and confident. It calmed me, and I believed him. Diagnosis to treatment was so fast, I didn't have time to dwell. Within six days, I had a liver biopsy, a permanent port put in my chest for chemotherapy, and my first dose of treatment. In November 2016, I had surgery to resect my colon and one side of my liver in hopes to put me in remission, and I continued with chemo every other Wednesday. When you're fighting for your life at a place where people genuinely care, it's easier to en- dure. At Jupiter Medical Center, everyone knows me by name and is always positive to be around. They chat with me about dogs, or nail polish, or whatever to cut the tension. Once, when I had to take a medication that tasted disgusting, a nurse got someone to unlock the cafeteria (it was the middle of the night, thus closed) so she could get me orange juice to mask the taste. Jupiter Medical Center takes such wonder- ful care of me and has given me such strength, gratitude, and hope. We have a very special hospital here right in our backyard, and I'm blessed because of it. Ç ALLAN CARLISLE KELLY MCCARTHY:

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