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A Patient's Perspective
Sharon Mumma received her diagnosis of breast cancer in 1995, the day after her best friend, Patty, died of the disease. In a style typical of Sharon, her first instinct was to turn her upcoming battle with the disease into an experience that would be positive in her life and an opportunity to honor Patty's memory. In addition to fulfilling her dream, she has also brought laughter and joy to fellow patients, the staff and the doctors at St. Luke's. Sharon's course of treatment began with a lumpectomy and 36 radiation treatments. During the same year, she also joined together a team of friends, named them "Patty Brennan's Walkers," and began raising money for AMC Cancer Research. Since they began, Patty Brennan's Walkers has consistently raised enough money to reach the Gold Team level, and each year the plaque for their achievement is sent to Patty's parents in honor of her memory.

In 2001, Sharon experienced a recurrence of cancer in the same breast. At that point, her doctors recommended a mastectomy and chemotherapy. In 2002, they discovered the cancer had metastasized to her lungs. She now receives chemotherapy for two out of every three weeks and has completed more than 24 treatments to date. Despite her ongoing therapy, Sharon continues to work full time and participates in Jazzercise classes.

The staff at St. Luke's Hospital Center for Cancer Care knows to expect fresh baked cake and cookies on the days of Sharon's treatments, as baking continues to be a passion for her. Fellow infusion patients also partake in the goodies. Sharon gives each new patient that she meets at St. Luke's a special baseball cap she had made. "The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up," Sharon says with a bright smile. "I try to make chemotherapy sessions a festive occasion and get everyone to talk and laugh and not be afraid of the situation. There IS life with cancer - it can be full and productive with reason to hope for a better outcome."

Sharon considers herself blessed, with every day a new adventure. She has a loving husband and her grown son lives nearby. She loves being close to her family and friends, and chooses to dwell on the positive rather than the negative. "The staff and doctors at St. Luke's Hospital want me to get well, and they respect and care for me as they would a member of their own family. They know I am someone's wife, mother, daughter and sister. I know I receive the best possible care at St. Luke's Hospital."

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