I safely and confidently finished my cancer treatment during COVID-19

Brian Roy, Patient

Photo of Brian and his former medical oncologist, Dr. Bhagwati, prior to her departure in January 2020.

I was diagnosed with lung cancer about two years ago following a routine checkup with my primary care provider, Vince Kempinksi at Bronson Internal Medicine. Following diagnosis, I met with the cancer team at Bronson, then went to U of M for a second opinion. As Bronson Battle Creek is close to home and they had the technology and ability to treat my cancer just as well – if not better – then U of M, I made the decision to get my radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatment at the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center.

Throughout my time at the Cancer Care Center, I have worked with so many members of the team. Rob Sieffert, a physicist in the radiation department, met with me before I started radiation. He was thorough in his explanations which made me feel really confident. During radiation treatment, I saw Dr. Mudge who was also really great and calmed my nerves with his jokes. The first day of my chemo, I had an allergic reaction that I thought was going to kill me. Kathy Warren, my nurse, brought me out of the reaction so quickly and Dr. Bhagwati, my medical oncologist throughout most of my treatment prior to her moving to India, changed my medication. Susan Smith is an NP and I have known her for years and she is wonderful. Additionally, all the nurses and support staff were really kind and had great attitudes.

Then, in July of 2019, I started a full year of immunotherapy, which I completed in July of 2020. Just as I had during my entire time at the Cancer Care Center, I continued to feel safe during my treatments, even though we were in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. The team put several precautions in place – like everyone wearing a mask, only patients coming into the facility, putting plexiglass up at the check in desk, and rearranging the waiting area so nobody was too close to each other. Also, I witnessed several times staff coming right over and sanitizing seating, etc. as soon as anyone got up.

Overall, my experience at the Cancer Care Center has been excellent. I work in healthcare construction, and have done several projects in the past with Bronson. I know first hand that the facility and technology are top notch, and the staff does everything possible to ensure patients have positive outcomes.