do recall the exact day. I felt a lump; a little tiny one in my
right breast,” says Frances Ferris, of Pearl River. But her
gynecologist and mammographer said it was
nothing to worry about. “I thought, OK, then I must be imagining
this…but I had a gut feeling,” she says. Seven months
went by and eventually pain and soreness forced Frances to visit
her doctor again. The lump had grown.
Following a biopsy, she got the news, but it was something
she says she already knew. She contacted Nyack surgeon, Dr. Lawrence
Simon, who promptly removed the lesion. She received chemotherapy,
supervised by oncologist Dr. Sheryl Leventhal. Then she started
radiation therapy treatment at Advanced ROS under the direction
of Dr. Margaret Torrey.
During this period, she says, a strange thing happened. “I’d been scared of cancer all my life.
I’d say ‘Please God, keep cancer away from me’.
But the funny thing was, when I actually got it, this kind of calm
came over me and I wasn’t scared anymore. Throughout the whole
process, I never had any doubts. I believe in destiny. I tolerated
the chemotherapy very well, I never got sick, just tired a few days. And the radiation therapy had absolutely no
ill effect on me. During that time, I just lived my life, I was
optimistic the whole way.”
Now disease-free, Frances says cancer is the last
thing on her mind. “I feel like I never had it,” she
says. “I love to garden, to be outdoors. I come from a little
farm in Ireland, so that’s always been in me. I love to go
out and enjoy myself and have a good laugh. I love to travel.”
Every year, she and her husband of 38 years travel to Ireland to
visit her three sisters. They make monthly treks to Atlantic City
and plans for destinations to come.
Looking back on that time, thinking about the physicians
and staff who cared for her, Frances remarks, “I simply can’t
say enough good things about them.”