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Donna Payer

Donna's story: even stronger with Geisinger on my side

payerI thought I was healthy and strong. I exercised regularly, ate right, didn’t smoke, kept up on all the annual tests that are recommended for women my age…I really took care of myself. And it was one of those tests – my annual mammogram – that made me grateful I had kept my health at the top of my priority list.

After my Geisinger doctors saw a suspicious marking on my mammogram, they performed a biopsy and confirmed my worst fear: cancer. I sat down with all of my doctors and surgeons to talk about my condition and plan for my treatment. They were giving me a lot of information, but the only thing I could concentrate on was that one word, “cancer.” Even though I was overwhelmed, I knew I was in the very best place to receive my treatment, and that my doctors would do everything in their power to make me well again.

And they absolutely did, through every step of the healing process — the surgeries, the chemotherapy and radiation. I was given the most advanced cancer care at each and every appointment. More than that, I was also cared for by compassionate people who listened to my concerns, and were there with a smile to boost my inner strength whenever I needed it.

It’s been over two years since my diagnosis. I have battled breast cancer and won. Last May, on the anniversary of my first chemo treatment, I celebrated how far I’ve come with a ceremonial three-mile “mud run.” It was a hard course, challenging, fun and exhilarating.   

I thought I was strong before. With Geisinger on my side, it turns out I feel even stronger.

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