I survived breast cancer. My name is Cathy Schoenthal and I had breast cancer. I was informed on November 26th, 2018, that my annual mammogram found a spot on my left breast that needed a biopsy for possible cancer.
I’ve heard of women getting breast cancer, but I never thought it would happen to me.
I was immediately scheduled to see the surgeon for a lumpectomy. My lumpectomy surgery on December 5, 2018 went well. Thankfully, they were able to get it all. I then went to see my oncologist and we set up a treatment plan. I would receive 22 days of radiation starting after the New Year.
I started my radiation on January 9 2019. During this time I met several patients who were there for cancer treatment. Several were from out of town, some traveling as far as the Hi-Line; one gentleman in particular, I knew when I was working at The Great Falls Inn. He shared his experience receiving treatments and traveling from outside of town. He had attempted on many occasions to secure a motel that offered a medical discount throughout his treatment and it was nearly impossible.
I am lucky to have a home in town where the commute was minor during my treatment. I cannot imagine having to travel every day or stay at a hotel as the bill continued to rise. When my husband had surgery with the VA hospital in Helena, he had to stay for two nights and they were able to provide him a room in their facility; very similar to the one the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation is campaigning to build. The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation’s proposed housing facility would be a blessing to cancer patients and all patients traveling to Great Falls.
I would also like to say thank you again to the Great Falls Clinic Cancer Care department and the Great Falls Clinic Hospital for their great care. I am now cancer free because of these wonderful people.