Just when Ellen Turner thought she was about to knock cancer’s fast ball out of the park, the disease threw her a curve.
And then another.
But neither Turner nor her FirstHealth of the Carolinas medical team was ready to strike out. Every time cancer played hard ball, Turner and FirstHealth’s Cancer Services staff found a sturdier bat.
Turner’s first encounter with cancer occurred with uterine cancer, diagnosed in 2002 and apparently successfully removed without further treatment after a complete hysterectomy .
Two years later, the source of Turner’s severe pelvic pain was found to be an inoperable tumor that had wrapped itself around her bladder. This diagnosis required both chemotherapy and radiation, sometimes at the same time. Turner was sick for a year, especially after Moore Regional’s Cancer Services staff decided to hit the tumor with “the big boys in the chemotherapy line” and finish it off.
By November 2006, Turner had every right to think that she and cancer had finally parted company, but then she found a lump in her breast. She had a lumpectomy at FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital and was then reintroduced to the same radiation oncologists at Moore Regional who had cared for her during the earlier bladder cancer episode.
Despite some lingering after-effects that have put her on a first-name basis with much of the Emergency Department staff at Montgomery Memorial, this wife, mother, grandmother and retired administrative secretary has been cancer-free for five years. She credits God for her recovery, but is grateful for the exceptional care she received from gifted health care professionals at every step of her cancer journey: Ellen Willard, M.D., medical oncologist; Jeffrey Acker, M.D., Sushma Patel, M.D., and Stephen King, M.D., radiation oncologists; Janet Britt, P.A.; gynecologist Barry Buchele, M.D.; and the staffs of the FirstHealth Outpatient Cancer Center, FirstHealth Radiation Oncology and the Emergency Department at Montgomery Memorial Hospital.
And many others.
“I can’t praise these people enough,” Turner says. “They are so super. They are wonderful, wonderful people.”