Victoria's Story of Survivorship

Expert care, when you need it most.

Patients all across the Denver metro community arrive at Lutheran Medical Center not feeling their best, and oftentimes with the anxiety of not knowing what’s wrong with their health. Patients like Victoria know how a minor health concern can turn into something more serious in a matter of weeks, and through the compassionate care of Lutheran’s caregivers, can be brought back to a healing state.

Victoria, her husband Frank, and their three sons enjoy a mostly quiet life in the Lakewood community. Living in Colorado for more than 18 years, Victoria and her family adore spending time with their two pure-bred shepherds, Ruby Rose and Kaiser, along with gardening, and keeping their eyes peeled for the majestic plumage of local birds. In the fall of 2015, Victoria began dealing with digestive issues, and visited her primary care doctor to review these concerns. Her physician advised her to take some over the counter medications for the discomfort she was experiencing, and to follow-up if this course of treatment did not help her condition. Being under the age of 50 at the time, and with no family history of cancer, a colonoscopy was not recommended.

After a few days of medication, Victoria still was not feeling well. She went to the Emergency Room at Lutheran, where she was given a medication that should have provided her with relief. It did not, and did quite the opposite – this medication made her sicker. At that time, the caregivers in the ER knew something wasn’t right, and began running more tests to see what was really going on. After being admitted, doctors found Victoria had colorectal cancer that had also spread to her liver. Within a week of her frightening trip to the ER, Victoria found herself in the capable hands of Dr. Jennifer Caskey and team.

Every step of the way, Cancer Centers of Colorado at Lutheran Medical Center walked Victoria through her treatment plan.

“Dr. Caskey was great in helping to explain my diagnosis, answering questions and ensuring my family and I knew what to expect while I underwent my treatment,” Victoria says. “The medical team provided me with options when I had them, and explained in detail what every procedure would entail.” Victoria underwent liver radioablation, a non-invasive procedure which heats up cancerous tumors to help them shrink. No stitches, or lengthy recovery, Victoria was able to return home the same day.

The nurses in the infusion center are great. They know me by name, and ask if I would like a snack or warm blanket. Their care makes all the difference, and helps me feel at ease.
— Victoria

Starting January 2016, Victoria began chemotherapy treatments every other week to fight her cancer. “The nurses in the infusion center are great. They know me by name, and ask if I would like a snack or warm blanket. Their care makes all the difference, and helps me feel at ease,” she says. The cancer center also provided Victoria with community resources and support groups, ensuring that she never felt alone through her fight with cancer.

More than a year has passed, and Victoria’s tumors are responding well to treatment and are shrinking. Victoria will continue to receive maintenance chemotherapy into the future, and her doctors feel her prognosis is bright. Victoria is a cancer survivor, with many more years of family, gardening and bird watching to look forward to. Patients just like Victoria come to Lutheran frightened and unsure of what to expect, and leave with a feeling of empowerment over their own health.

Be a hero for cancer survivors in our community. Join Cancer Centers of Colorado and Lutheran Medical Center for the 10th anniversary Heroes of Hope Run/Walk on June 4. Help to inspire the countless cancer survivors in our community, and show support for the families and individuals who face their cancer diagnosis with courage and dignity. For those who have fought courageously, and for those still fighting – become a Hero of Hope today.