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'A Survivor Since the Day You Were Diagnosed'

10-28-2016

Photo Caption: Becky Baquet (left) is incredibly thankful for radiation technicians like Terry Curcio, a mammographer at FMH Imaging Services.

For Becky Baquet, 61, of Libertytown, Md., it’s not her initial diagnosis or lumpectomy she remembers most about her breast cancer journey. It’s one radiation tech’s small act of kindness that empowered her to keep fighting—and look back on the strength and courage she displayed from the beginning.

“My last radiation treatment in August 2014 was a big moment for me. I remember asking my radiation tech, ‘Does this mean I’m a survivor now?’’ Baquet pauses, in tears. “She responded, assuredly, ‘You’ve been a survivor since the day you were diagnosed.’”

Nov. 6-12 marks National Radiologic Technology Week, which recognizes the extraordinary work that medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals play in patient care and healthcare safety. The celebration coincides with the discovery of the X-ray by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen on Nov. 8, 1895 and annually recognizes the vital work of today’s radiation technologists across the nation.

At the Frederick Regional Health System (FRHS) Regional Cancer Therapy Center, for example, radiation is commonly used for cancer treatment. In fact, over half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy during the course of their treatment.

The Center is home to the only radiation oncology department in the area accredited by the American College of Radiology. FRHS’s technicians not only monitor radiation treatment, but also are available to answer questions, help patients manage their symptoms, and address any side effects they may experience during the process.

Baquet’s course of treatment was relatively easy, she says—she was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer in April 2014 and didn’t need chemotherapy. After surgery at FRHS to remove the lump and surrounding lymph nodes, she went straight to radiation therapy, also at FRHS.

“I can’t say enough about the radiation techs that saw me for 30 treatments throughout that summer,” Baquet says. “You’re in such a vulnerable position when you are laying on a table, completely exposed, getting ready to receive radiation. They were very respectful. I felt incredibly appreciative of their care.”

“It’s amazing what they see every day, what they’re exposed to, and how they’ve dealt with so many different types of cancers and different types of people. It takes a special person to do that job and make your patients feel the way they made me feel.”

FRHS will move its award-winning oncology program into a new, state-of-the-art facility in the summer of 2017. The James M. Stockman Cancer Institute will offer convenient, comprehensive care in a healing environment, making treatment for those battling cancer more manageable than ever before.

To hear more cancer survivor stories or to schedule an appointment for radiation oncology services, visit www.fmh.org/cancercare or call 301-418-6465.

Categories: Cancer


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