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Local cancer survivor urges others to visit Cancer

Source: Amber Rosado

Author: Daily American

Published: March 11, 2014

Berlin native Bonnie Foy can enjoy endless summer days and nights camping cancer-free thanks to the help she received from Cancer Centers of America.

Foy, who was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, went to the Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, Ill. for treatment. She said she was amazed at the quality of care provided at the center.

“I’m so glad I went there and got the treatment I needed,” she said. “Personally, I think it’s the best place to get help.”

Foy, 61, said the entire ordeal started with pain in her back and kidneys.

“I didn’t pay attention to it because I thought it was just from heavy lifting at work,” she said.

After a trip to the doctor and blood tests, it was determined Foy had cancerous polyps in her bladder moving to her left kidney. She was referred to surgery in Latrobe.

During surgery, doctors removed her kidney, urethra and part of her bladder. Foy was sent home to recover.

Unfortunately, the situation was far from over. Foy said around Thanksgiving she noticed that her sutures were infected. It would take two months of in-home care to help the wound heal.

“We were fed up with the doctors around here,” Foy’s husband, Jeff said.

Searching for a solution, his mother, Ginger, suggested calling Cancer Centers of America. Foy called the center and set up a preliminary visit in February 2013.

She said she didn’t know what to expect when she arrived in Chicago with her daughter, Chrissy.

“I don’t put up well with change. I’m a worrier. But they had everything from the hotel to a shuttle set up for us,” she said.

Foy said the center arraigned and paid for the hotel and the flight to Chicago for her and her daughter.

At the preliminary meeting, she learned that the center works with whatever type of insurance the patient has. There is also a team of doctors dedicated to a patient.

Foy said she was amazed by the amount of doctors and equipment dedicated to the patients.

“Everything is done in house, all the bloodwork, all the scans,” she said. “There’s no need to be referred to another place.”

Cancer center doctors told Foy that she was making progress with her current treatment. They also conducted a full body scan. During the scan, doctors found a mass on Foy’s bladder. She said she thinks the mass wasn’t found by local doctors because they were looking in a different area.

Two weeks later, she was back the center, joined by her family, for surgery to remove the bladder.

“It was about a nine-hour surgery, but when it was over, I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders,” Jeff said.

In March 2013, she was able to leave the center cancer-free.

Foy said what she remembers most about the center is the positive atmosphere and making friends.

“It’s amazing the amount of people that go there. They help so many people,” she said. “There were wonderful people who were sick, but they didn’t act like it.”

Foy has been back to the center for follow-up appointments to continually check her progress.

“It was a very rough and stressful two years,” she said.

Foy said she wants to encourage everyone struggling with cancer to call the center.

“Just call and set up the first visit. You don’t have to take their advice, but at least call,” she said.

Currently, Foy is living happily in the Berlin house she grew up in, with her husband and their dog. She likes to go four-wheeling and camping. During their free time, the couple can be found enjoying wings and fries at Hillbilly Haven in Fairhope.