All Posts in Category: Patient Stories

Care and support eased her cancer journey

When Kristin Sad noticed a lump in her right breast in June 2017, she was not surprised that the diagnosis would be cancer. Her maternal aunts had gotten the same diagnosis when they reached their 60s, the same age when Kristin noticed her lump. Within a few days, a mammogram imaged the lump and a biopsy with a clinical diagnosis of stage 2 breast cancer confirmed Kristin’s suspicion.

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Getting back her winning edge

As a competitive swimmer who is in the pool for 15 hours each week, Elise Nishii-Kim is used to pushing her body. But, during an intense practice in the summer of 2016, with her heart pounding 180 beats a minute, she suddenly had trouble breathing.

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Having a friend during treatments

It’s like coming home.

Trumansburg native Richard ‘Dick’ Austic has lived with cancer since 1996 when he received his first of what would become four diagnoses of cancer during the next 20 years. Richard was an animal science professor with an emphasis on poultry nutrition at Cornell University until he retired about 10 years ago. During the 1995 fall semester, he developed abdominal pain, found standing difficult, and lost about 50 pounds. At the end of the semester, he saw his physician who detected occult blood in a fecal sample. A CT scan revealed a large tumor on his colon, and Richard had surgery at Cayuga Medical Center later that day. Following his recovery from surgery, Richard had six weeks of radiation therapy and received chemotherapy treatments over the next 12 months at Cayuga Medical Center. Several years of follow-up care and tests confirmed the aggressive treatment was successful.

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Life is Sweet After Surgery

Carrying 40- to 80-pound boxes of honey from beehives to his truck was becoming painful for Nick Shilliff in the summer of 2015. His left hip would ache during the day and keep him awake at night. “It got so I couldn’t take three steps without pain, and I couldn’t sleep because I could not get comfortable,” he recalls.

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Shining a Light – On Elizabeth Personius

It was November 2014 and Elizabeth Personius, 58, had just received the shock of her life: a diagnosis of lung cancer. On the verge of surgery and the journey of care that would treat her illness, Elizabeth and her husband, Ed, attended “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer,”  a new education and support program offered at the Cayuga Cancer Center. Now a year later, with a clean MRI of her lungs and no sign of cancer, Elizabeth was the guest speaker at the annual shine-a-light event. This is her story.

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