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Cancer Center team shows patient top-notch care, support

Cancer Center team shows patient top-notch care, support

Update: October 23, 2017: CCH is sad to hear about the passing of Becky Brazelton. Becky shared her story of the care she received from CCH in September and thanked the Heptner Cancer Center's medical team for all of their care and support throughout her journey. CCH sends our heartfelt condolences to Becky's family and friends.

It’s been a difficult, challenging year for Becky Brazelton. Diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, she’s been undergoing treatment at the Heptner Cancer Center since last August.

Even though her first week of treatment was difficult, having had a severe reaction to one of the anti-nausea medications and ending up in the emergency room, the staff at the center helped make Becky’s experience more bearable.

“Everybody gets support up there no matter what you’re going through,” Becky said. “The support of the other patients and the medical team has been wonderful.”

Dr. Pauline Lerma Heptner Cancer Center When she first started treatment, Becky was under the care of Dr. Keith Mills, but after his retirement, she has worked with Dr. Pauline Lerma who started at Campbell County Health in March. Bringing almost 20 years of experience in treating cancer, Dr. Lerma has stepped right into helping patients navigate their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“I want to be as realistic as I can be,” Dr. Lerma said. “On the other hand, I like to help take away fear. Information is power.”

That means sitting down with patients just after their diagnosis and going through all of the various treatment options and potential outcomes. Becky said she has appreciated Dr. Lerma’s upfront nature since becoming her patient.

“She’s very open and honest,” Becky said. “It wasn’t really a transition for me. She’s pretty much to the point and I like that.”

A lot of times people ask Becky why she isn’t seeking treatment at one of the bigger cancer centers, but for her, the treatment she’s receiving can’t be beaten.

“If I felt any doubt at all, I’d go somewhere else, but I have trust in them,” Becky said. “Since my entire family is here in Gillette as well as my friends and especially my job, it was extremely important to me that my treatment was done here. Discovering the additional support of the medical team at the treatment center I was gaining by having treatment done here made me understand that no other facility was going to match my needs anyway! Realizing that faith, family, friends and the support of so many in this marvelous community was going to be one of my toughest weapons to win this fight makes me exceedingly thankful of this decision.”

You can learn more about this treatment option available in Gillette, Wyoming at the Heptner Cancer Center by calling 307-688-1950 or visiting www.cchwyo.org/cancercare. Make sure you know all your cancer treatment options before you make a decision.

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer