My Sister’s Experience with Cancer by Lori Henderson

Everyone has an event in his or her lifetime, where they remember where they were and what they were doing when bad news was delivered. One such memorable event for most us was the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. Another event for me was the day my 21 year-old sister, Diana, called to tell us her doctor had just informed her that she had cancer. It was a cold December morning and I was sitting on the couch feeding my one month-old son. I remember feeling a cold and sinking feeling wash over me. What? How could it be? No young newlywed with her own flourishing business in a small community should hear that kind of news—it was earth-shaking and devastating. 

Diana Beats Cancer
Diana is pictured with her husband, their two daughters with their husbands and their grandchild. They also recently just welcomed their second grandchild in May 2019.

Diana had to drive to Great Falls the next day to see her doctor and then she would meet with an oncologist to discuss chemotherapy. She started chemotherapy right after Christmas—she would have chemo every day for a week and then have three weeks off. Initially the treatments weren’t too bad but it didn’t take long for the chemo side effects to make her unbelievably sick. To add insult to injury, she had to endure the 75-mile round-trips to Great Falls during the long cold Montana winter. There were days of blizzards, icy roads, and frigid temperatures. Family members each took turns taking time away from jobs to take her to Great Falls. She was simply too sick to drive herself—most of the time on the way home, she was so sick she could barely hold her head up. 

It was a very long year for my sister and my family. It would have been so much easier if she had not had to endure those trips during treacherous weather, especially when she was feeling so ill. Fortunately, for all of us, her cancer treatments were a success and to this day she is so grateful for the wonderful care that she received at the Great Falls Clinic. 

Please support the Legacy Foundation’s fundraiser to build free housing for patients who have to travel to Great Falls for healthcare. The Foundation is committed to serving our communities along the Hi-Line and surrounding areas. The Foundation cares for the safety and well-being of patients and families who must travel to our community for care.  

Do you have a story to tell? Do you know someone that has had an experience they would like to share? Please submit your testimonial to Samantha at samantha.shinaberger@gfclinic.com. We would love to share your story and hear from you!

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