Kim's Cancer Story

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- [Kim] I am a mother of two.
I'm married to my awesome husband, Keith,

and we've been married for almost 29
years, high school sweethearts.

In July of 2017, I was first diagnosed
with my cancer and it was Stage 2 ductal

carcinoma and it was in my left breast.
When you hear that, it's the worst thing

you can hear because you have
all kinds of thoughts and feelings.

Because you just don't know.
I have a great medical team that set forth

a great plan. And we did everything that
they suggested because we knew it was good

for me and us. And I think it
worked out great, I'm very lucky.

The plan was to do chemotherapy
first to try to reduce the tumor.

- [Dr. Hatmaker] We use this therapy to
help us get a better lumpectomy.

It can help us get margins that are more
clear. We can remove less tissue,

which will enable a better cosmetic
result. It also allows us to access the

biologic response of the tumor to
treatment. So that when we do remove

the tumor, we can see how well
our systemic therapy worked.

- During my chemo, the staff at the CBC
were great. They were also

very accommodating. Six of the treatments
were an all-day treatment so we had family

come in and out all day.
The chemo that I had received worked well

enough for me that I was able to preserve
my breast. And once I healed from surgery,

I did radiation therapy.
Radiation treatments were very tolerable

because the treatment itself is very
quick. When you're undergoing treatment

for any sort of illness,
it does affect every part of your being.

I think normalcy is very critical in
healing because I didn't have to make

major charges in anything.
I actually worked every day.

It was nice to sleep in my own
bed and it was just good to

have the comforts of home.

- I think that we all do better when we
are in a comfortable environment.

I think it has a multitude of effects
emotionally, reducing stress

on the patient, both financially and
emotional to be able to receive care close

to home. We have a full complement of the
multi-disciplinary team here that I feel

are all engaged and enjoy taking
care of breast cancer patients.

And I think that motivates all of us to
stay up to date and know what the latest

treatments and technologies are that are
most appropriate for each patient and

to tailor that treatment accordingly.
You know, patients have a lot of choices

for where they want to have their care.
Between the coordination of care,

the skill and talent of the physician
providers, and the multitude of support

services that we offer,
I just feel like this is the place to be.

- My journey showed me that I can be very
strong. I didn't have to be by myself

on my journey. I'm so grateful for
everyone that I encountered and all the

care that I received from Baptist Health.
I was able to come home every day after a

treatment and stay here
to receive world-class care.

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Sidetracked by Cancer, Kim was Glad her Care was Close to Home

By receiving care for her cancer at Baptist Health, Kim Pinnick remained close to her husband and family, wasn’t burdened financially, and didn’t have to take sick leave.

“We had big plans to start our empty nest,” she said. “My daughter, Kelsey, was headed to college, and we had a cruise planned.”

Those plans for sun and sea were sidetracked when Kim’s doctor found a lump in her breast. She was immediately referred to Allison Hatmaker, MD, a breast surgeon at Baptist Health Louisville and learned it was stage 2 ductal carcinoma. “It’s one of the worse things you can hear,” Kim said.

For the next 12 months, Kim’s life revolved around surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. “I had a great medical team that set forth a great plan,” she said.

“I got my chemo and surgery at the CBC [Consultants in Blood Disorders and Cancer] at Baptist Health Louisville and my radiation at Baptist Health Floyd,” she said. “I was able to stay close to home, so I still got that hometown feel from everybody I encountered.”

Kim described the environment as very welcoming, with nurses who are very concerned and caring.

“Everybody I met had caring personalities, and I felt like truly cared about my outcome,” she said.

Besides world-class treatment, Kim also had the comforts of home every day.

“We had family and friends around us during all the treatment,” she said. “Radiation is an all-day thing. People would come in and out … my husband, Keith, [who] was my rock, my mother and stepfather, my husband’s parents, my son a couple times, my daughter when she was home from break … it made the days go faster.”

Kim continued to work through all her treatments and only took off a couple weeks after surgery and a few days when she was scheduled to receive high doses of chemotherapy.

“Staying close to home made my life easier,” Kim said. “The 12-month experience would have financially put a burden on us if I would have had to travel.”

When it comes to living through cancer, Kim said she counts her bright spots, and those are the support she received from friends, family, and her medical team.

“I love feeling good and having the energy to do what I want to do when I want to do it,” she said. “Baptist Health and the great care I got from my medical team helped me get where I am today — cancer free and feeling good.”

When it comes to treating cancer, prevention is the best medicine. Together, we can protect your long-term health.

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