Kathy Brandt was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in 2011 at her local hospital. After much research, Kathy chose proton therapy for her lung cancer treatment. Discover Kathy’s story, who is now cancer free.
« You hear the words cancer and it’s truly terrifying. It was basically just a checkup with my pulmonologist because I have emphysema. He sent me for a chest X-ray and that is when they found the tumor in my lung.
It was a terrifying time and thankfully I had strong family surrounding me – strong family helping me make decisions about what kind of treatment I should have. My brother-in-law, who is a physician, along with my pulmonologist suggested I go to Penn Medicine for treatment.
I was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer at the end of June. My surgery was the beginning of August and chemo started in September. It was finished in November. I started proton therapy for lung cancer in December, which lasted for 4 weeks.
I decided to go with the proton radiation because of the cancer’s proximity to my heart and spine. I chose proton therapy because I knew it would be more precise and would have less side effects and that was very important to me.
Every day, I would leave work, come home, and my husband would take me to Penn for proton therapy. After the treatment, we’d go home and I’d spend time with my grandchildren and their parents, who were living with us at the time. I really felt wonderful. I continued to work the whole time I had proton therapy – I never missed a day of work, actually. I was a bit more tired than usual, but that was really the only side effect I felt.
When I completed proton therapy, I rang the bell. Everybody in the waiting room clapped, and we went home and I think I had a very big glass of wine after treatment was finished.
Today, I don’t sweat the small stuff. I would tell anyone to feel very comfortable in choosing proton therapy simply because of the fewer side effects and its extreme precision. I cannot say enough good things about my experience. »