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Susan - Breast

Susan - Breast

Susan has a lot to live for: she’s a daughter, a mother, a grandmother, a girlfriend, and a friend. Her spirit is infectious, bringing joy and laughter to those around her. One thing she’s known for? Her humor. Often cracking jokes, Susan knows how to bring comedy to any situation. Even when it comes to her cancer diagnosis.

Having spent the majority of her adulthood living in Spokane, Susan built her life in this Eastern Washington city. From raising her daughter to spending time with her grandson, Spokane has always been home to Susan; that is, until she decided to pick up and move to The Emerald City.

In July 2016, Susan was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer in her left breast. At first, she was convinced it was nothing more than a swollen gland, until she realized it was something much more than that. “Before my diagnosis, I was in denial. I always knew the lump could mean something more, but I didn’t want to believe it was cancer. Once I realized it was, I knew I had to look into all of my options. That’s when I discovered proton beam therapy.”

The first phase of Susan’s treatment plan began with chemotherapy followed by a double mastectomy in February 2017. The final phase included proton therapy located at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy Center. She explained, “At first, I didn’t know what protons were. But as soon as Dr. Christine Fang explained them to me, I knew this was my best, and healthiest, option.”

For women with breast cancers of the left breast, closer to the heart, proton therapy has become an ideal treatment option. Proton therapy directly targets radiation at the tumor, without excess radiation to healthy tissues and organs, which is crucial for women like Susan.

“Moving to Seattle has given me hope. After having my consultation with Dr. Fang, I knew the SCCA Proton Therapy Center was the place for me. The entire team was amazing – they knew my case inside and out, were involved each step of the way, and always made sure I felt cared for. It was truly a pleasant experience.”

Today, Susan is cancer free and has become a permanent Seattle resident. She’s positive for the future and continues to appreciate all that proton therapy has done for her. “I believe everything happens for a reason. I never once viewed cancer as a bad thing, because it turned me into the person I am today.” She continued, “Spokane used to be my home, but now I’m happy to say that my home is in Seattle. I’m close to the center, I’m now a proud pet owner, and I’m able to start a new journey.”

Her recommendation to other cancer patients? “If you have breast cancer, consider protons and consider the SCCA Proton Therapy Center. A person couldn’t ask for better care.”