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TCSB Host Cancer Awareness Day Featured

Written by  Tuesday, 08 October 2019 22:22
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Poteau, OKLAHOMA - The Community State Bank held a Cancer awareness day to celebrate their employees who are  survivors and fighters of all types of cancer.


There are four survivors and one still fighting here at TCSB and are so very thankful for each one of them!"




Survivors 003

Pictured from left are: Neva Fitzpatrick, Pat Donathan, Janna Owens and Linda Fox (Not pictured Sherry Garner)


Neva Fitzpatrick - Her story 


In October 2018, I decided to switch my PCP to someone in town. Marc had recently started working at the hospital and had started seeing a new doctor and really liked her and thought we should just move the whole family to her. I set up my first appointment and immediately loved her. She was smart, easy to talk to, and VERY thorough.


After reading through my family history she decided to do some bloodwork and also wanted to set me up for a mammogram.


She said we just want to get an idea so we have a starting point as you get older. I had my mammogram after January 1, 2019 because, insurance! The ladies were wonderful.


They made me feel so comfortable (as comfortable as you can be in that situation!) and it went quick. She showed me a couple of spots that she said could be questionable to the radiologist reading it so don’t be surprised if I get a call back. I did. They wanted to do a compression mammogram on one side and an ultrasound on the other.


They told me I should hear something within the next week. My doctor called me back and said they weren’t liking something they saw and would like me to have a needle biopsy on my right side. That took me to the Women’s Center at Baptist Health in Fort Smith. They were also wonderful and the whole procedure was pretty quick. While I was there Marc’s grandmother had been admitted to Baptist for some health issues so we visited her after my appointment.


Unfortunately she was a lot sicker than we thought and she passed away on January 28, 2019. The next day was my birthday! I was at work enjoying my day when my doctor gave me a call. She told me they had sent her my biopsy results and she wondered if I could ask Marc to meet me and she would go over them with us in her office. I said so I need to leave work? She said yes. I said I didn’t want to! She said well I don’t like to give results over the phone but since you are being have breast cancer. How soon can you be in my office? I told her I would leave work right now. I came in the office and told the girls, as much as I tried I could not keep from breaking down.


They cried with me and told me everything would be ok God has this. I called Marc and asked him to come get me and take me to Dr. Jones’ office. We met with her and everything from that time was just a whirlwind. Cancer Treatment Center of America was recommended to me and it has been amazing! I had my double mastectomy on February 20, 2019 and was declared cancer free on February 22, 2019! Which is also our daughter Lexi’s birthday! At this time I have had 2 of the 3 surgeries to complete my reconstruction. I hope to have my final surgery before the end of the year so I can start 2020 in a whole different way.

Even though it is not anything I ever imagined going through, God was with me the entire journey. It is so amazing how He guides your steps. I felt an amazing peace through the whole thing and never really felt alone. I truly appreciate everything my family, friends, and bank family did for me during that tough time. I will be grateful always.


Pat Donathan - Her Story


In the year 2000 Larry insisted that officers of TCSB get a physical.


I was really busy and thought I didn’t have time for that, but after several times of him asking if I had had my physical, I reluctantly made an appointment.


I went for my physical and my Dr requested I have a mammogram (even though she had done a breast exam and didn’t find anything suspicious) because I had skipped a year. My mammogram came back with suspicious spots that were not on my previous one. The next step was an ultra sound and a visit with the surgeon who suggested a needle biopsy. On April 27, 2000 I got the results that I had breast cancer. On May 5, 2000 I had a lumpectomy where they removed a small lump and also took several lymph nodes to determine if my cancer was metastatic or contained.


My results were that 1 lymph node contained cancer cells and my surgeon sent me to an oncologist who recommended chemotherapy and radiation. I had 6 months of chemo treatments and 30 radiation treatments. My chemo treatments were split between the radiation, so I lost every hair on my head 2 different times.


Losing my hair was one of the most difficult things I’ve gone through. I can’t explain why that is when you’re are fighting for your life, but every cancer person I’ve talked with that has lost their hair has said it was the worst part of chemo. I was very blessed during chemo because I was treated with nausea medication to keep it at a minimum, so I was able to work throughout my treatment plan. I was cancer free.


Fast forward 19 years. A couple of years ago I had a lump on my chest and I had my oncologist look at it and he ordered an ultrasound that showed it was fluid filled and it went away. Earlier this year I noticed it again but didn’t think much about it. It began to grow and in May I showed it to my sister (she is an oncology nurse) & my 2 cousins who are nurses also.


All three of them said I needed to make an appointment with my oncologist. I did and he ordered another ultrasound. The radiologist told me there was something there and called my oncologist to setup an ultrasound guided needle biopsy. I received the dreaded news that my cancer had returned.


The tumor is small and again was caught early. I’m taking a chemo pill daily that I will take indefinitely, I’ve finished my radiation treatment, and I will have bloodwork every 3 months and scans at least yearly. My oncologist says my prognosis is very good. Praise The Lord!


My family, friends, and my bank family have been so supportive throughout this journey. I’m very grateful to all of you.


Janna Owens - Her Story


My cancer story started April 12, 2018. I had a doctor’s appointment that led to an ultra sound on April 16, 2018 then a CT scan on May 1, 2018 then a PET scan on May 17, 2018.


I received a call later that day and was told that I had a spot in my left lung, 2 spots on my liver and something in my colon. On May 4, 2018 I had an ultra sound with unclear results and an MRI. July 25, 2018 I had a colonoscopy that I was told was cancer and that I was almost 100% blocked in my colon.


On July 27, 2018 I had an ultra sound done on my liver then on July 31, 2018 I had a biopsy done on my liver. August 1, 2018 I had colon surgery where they took out 8 inches of my colon. Fort Smith told me my liver was inoperable so we decided to go to MD Anderson in Houston TX. My first visit with MD Anderson was September 12, 2018.


Their CT scan showed 2 spots in my left lung and 4 in liver. I was told that my liver was operable and they put together a plan for me. I got my port put in in Fort Smith on September 28, 2018. MD Anderson came up with a chemo treatment plan and sent that to Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith where I was able to do my chemo.


I had 4 chemo treatments then my liver surgery was on January 22, 2019.


I had 4 more chemo treatments and had lung surgery on June 5, 2019 and followed that up with 4 more chemo treatments.


I have been cancer free since June 5, 2019!


Praise God!


I would like to thank everyone that prayed for me and my family. We could not have gotten through this without those prayers and support. For me I could feel the strength from those prayers. Just knowing that people were praying for me and my family had and still has a huge impact on dealing with this awful disease.


Sherry Garner - Her story 


I was diagnosed in August of 2014.


I had my last chemo treatment in January of 2015 and my last radiation treatment in March of 2015.


This will be 4 years since my last treatments. And I am doing well.



Linda Fox is also a survivor 



David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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