When Patty Powell was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, she wanted to move fast. "I met my surgeon on Oct. 3 and had the lump removed on Oct. 11," Patty says. "Honestly, I just wanted it out of me.''

Patty, 51, is an accounting administrator near her home in Centralia. She found the lump in her breast herself and her cancer was diagnosed through a mammogram and biopsy. Once diagnosed, she had some difficult decisions to make.

 Having treatment at Providence Regional Cancer System - Centralia appealed to her, but she wanted to be sure she made the right choice. "I checked out clinics in Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle," Patty says. "I discovered I'd be receiving the same treatment here as I would in Seattle. However, if I opted for Seattle, I'd have to wait weeks or months to start, and I would be driving three and a half hours daily or weekly, depending on the treatment I needed. And if there were complications, I'd be traveling while I felt sick. I really wanted a local clinic."

 Her decision was reinforced by connecting with other cancer patients who received treatment in Centralia. “One just finished chemo and was happy; one had my same surgeon. It really helped having that inside knowledge. Without it, I might have second-guessed myself." Patty has completed surgery and chemotherapy and four weeks of radiation remains. Having almost finished her treatment, Patty says she's happy she stayed close to home.

 "Since I was receiving treatment in Centralia, and it only took half a day, I could go back to work if I felt well enough. My employer has been very generous and understanding, giving me time off when I needed it.

Patty is very pleased with her experience at Providence Regional Cancer System – Centralia and is grateful for the care so close to home. "There are benefits to staying in a small community," she says. "You need support to heal." Patty met people in treatment - both fellow patients and clinic staff - who are now part of her circle of family and friends. This was a comfort she didn't anticipate, but it helped her.

 "The nurses are so kind and helpful, the doctors are wonderful, and the volunteers are always there to help. Anything I needed, any questions, they took care of me. Now, when I'm out and about and I see one of my nurses, they say they miss having me there, which is nice to hear. I'm glad to be done with the chemotherapy visits, but I know what they mean."

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