Reid cancer navigator gives hope and support // I am thankful

Lula Boomershine (left) says she is grateful for the strong support she received from her family. Pictured is one of her eight daughters, LeAnne Stiver, RN, who works at the Reid Wound Healing Center.

Lula Boomershine (left) says she is grateful for the strong support she received from her family. Pictured is one of her eight daughters, LeAnne Stiver, RN, who works at the Reid Wound Healing Center.

When Lula Boomershine was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in October 2013, she figured she had about a month to live. More than a year later, Lula credits her recovery to the dedicated cancer team at Reid, including her cancer navigator.

Lula’s journey with cancer began when she started to feel short of breath and extremely tired. Her family doctor ordered a chest X-ray, which led to more tests and eventually to a diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. The cancer had already spread to her pelvis and rib cage. “I went to the cancer center thinking I didn’t have a chance,” said Lula, 63. “But from the minute I arrived, I was overwhelmed by how many people were interested in me and wanted to help.”

Lula was immediately impressed with her oncologist, Heather Riggs, MD, who was caring and thorough. Later that day Lula met Dianne Bailey, RN, a Reid cancer navigator who provides support for cancer patients and their families during every phase of treatment. “Dianne was a point person for me—I could call her any time with a question,” Lula said. “She gave me a binder of information and kept me on the ball with my appointments, and sometimes would call to check up on me. She listened to me when I needed to talk, and just kept positive the whole time.”

Lula underwent chemotherapy and then radiation, and spent the summer of 2014 recovering. By the time the one-year mark came around, she had returned to everyday activities such as shopping and doing housework. Dr. Riggs is very pleased with Lula’s progress, and sees no sign that the cancer has returned.

“Everyone at the Reid Cancer Center is great,” Lula said. “They cared, they really did. I’m so grateful for how Reid helped me get better.”

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