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PATIENTS & FAMILIES

  • Suzanne Lindley, Canton, Texas

    Suzanne Lindley knows a thing or two about showing cancer who’s boss. After all, she’s been living with stage IV metastatic colorectal cancer for 12 years – and counting.

    Suzanne was only 31 when she found out she had cancer, and that it had already spread to her liver. She was told she had six months to live. For a short time, she thought that was it. She accepted her prognosis and asked other cancer patients for guidance on how to tell her two young daughters she wouldn’t be around much longer. Thankfully she soon realized that she was still very much alive.

    Suzanne soon started receiving the only therapy for colon cancer available at that time – chemotherapy (5fu). She cycled through many different types of chemo, often seeing short term results, only to then see the cancer grow stronger. When she was out of approved chemo options, she turned to clinical trials.

    But her liver tumors began to grow and multiply and she suddenly found herself back at square one. Like many cancer patients are told every day, she heard, “I’m sorry – there are no more options,” and was given three months to live.

    Suzanne family and friends at Speedways deLIVER Hope at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina

    For Suzanne, that just meant she had to find the next stepping stone in her treatment. She went on to try radioembolization, where tiny little radioactive beads are implanted in tumors to reduce and eliminate cancer. It worked! She saw a 65 percent reduction in her liver tumors and some even died completely.

    Since then, Suzanne keeps jumping from stepping stone to stepping stone of her cancer journey. She’s has also received additional targeted radiation treatments, external beam radiation for cancer that spread to her spine, Gamma Knife for cancer that spread to her brain, radio frequency ablation for a single returning liver tumor and Cyberknife for her lung tumors.

    Together, these advanced radiation therapy technologies have given Suzanne a lifetime of experiences. She got to watch her daughters grow up, grow older with her husband and start her own patient advocacy organization, YES! Beat Liver Tumors.

    Through YES! Suzanne has connected hundreds of patients across the country with doctors and new treatments, so successfully that she was called the “medical matchmaker” by Katie Couric.

    Today Suzanne continues to receive systemic chemotherapy for her tumors, targeted radiological therapies when needed and diagnostic imaging to stay on top of any tumor growth.

    Suzanne has turned cancer from a terminal disease to a chronic one. She has spread hope to those who have trouble finding it. She relies on medical imaging innovations to bring her to that next stepping stone.

    But for Suzanne, those treatments aren’t so much stepping stones anymore, but are lifesaving milestones.

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