Pam's Cancer Journey

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♪ [music] ♪

- [Pam] I'm Pam Durban [SP].
I am a registered nurse.

I've been married to the love of my life for 43 years.

We have three grown children and four grandchildren.

In 2013, I was diagnosed with breast cancer,
and I opted to have a double mastectomy

with reconstructive surgery.

Three years later, I was diagnosed with
endometrial cancer and had a total hysterectomy,

and they were certain that they
had gotten all of the cancer.

The washings, the lymph nodes, they were all
clear, but I continued to do all the follow-ups.

In October of 2021, I started having some abdominal
pain, so we went up to the emergency room,

met this wonderful ER doctor, Dr. Dugger.

The cancer in the endometrium had spread, and I
was diagnosed with metastatic endometrial cancer.

That is when I met Dr. Takimoto.

- [Dr. Takimoto] My whole philosophy around
patient care is treat them like they're family.

Treat them how you would want someone to treat your
mother, your aunt, your cousin, and even yourself.

- Dr. Takimoto is just a wonderful human being.

I met her the first day that I was in the hospital.

She came in and talked to me a little bit about,
you know, what she had learned about my diagnosis,

but she did it in a way that was
very genuine, very empathetic.

- Gaining their trust in those first couple of moments
is really key in setting forward the tone for how is

this treatment going to be played out?

You know, even with a diagnosis of metastatic cancer,
there are many new treatment options going forward that

can be utilized, and even a combination of
modalities that can be used to have a good outcome.

- Just listening to her explain what she thinks that we
needed to do to get me the best outcome really made a

lot of sense to me, and it kind of shut down
the feelings that I had about, you know,

going to a bigger institution
that only dealt with cancer.

I felt confidence.

We got chemo started right away, and then
in March of this year, I had a PET scan,

and it showed no evidence of active disease.

We were shocked that the chemo was
able to knock it out as well as it did.

So now, I'm in the point where I'm going for a CAT
scan every three months to make sure that it is

staying at bay.

- Here at Baptist, we have a multi-disciplinary
approach in our Cancer Center.

We have medical oncologists, radiation oncologists,
and gynecological oncologists, all in the same building

as well as our Infusion Center.

And we have access to a lot of good clinical
trials that are going on nationwide,

so a lot of the big studies that you would be
getting at some of the major cancer institutions

across the country, you can have access
to those same drugs and trials here.

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And our current treatment options, you know, it
allows patients to undergo treatment but still be

able to live life.

It is a real honor to be able to take care of
folks in the time when they need it the most.

- I'm passionate about quilting because it allows the
creative side of my brain to work in a way that the

nursing side of my brain does not.

And then my grandchildren, having
grandchildren is just a totally different love

than you didn't realize that you were going to
have, and what a lovely, lovely thing it is.

I feel so blessed that, you know, I have another
opportunity to have a little bit longer life.

♪ [music] ♪

Talk to your primary care provider about cancer screenings that may be right for you.