To celebrate her five-year, cancer-free milestone, Venetia Flowers took part in the commemorative tree planting ceremony at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Illinois June 7.
Diagnosed with appendix cancer in November 2007 at age 50, the Cartersville resident sought treatment at CTCA after discovering the disease had spread to her lymph nodes and upper right leg three months into chemotherapy. Initially, Flowers had her ascending colon removed before starting chemotherapy treatments at The Hope Center in Cartersville.
“Within a few days [of contacting them], they were flying me to the Cancer Treatment Centers,” Flowers said. “They paid for everything, picked me up in a limousine. The [TV] commercials, they don’t do it any justice. It’s just a wonderful place.
“You can’t believe there’s a place like that, the way you are treated and the people. So [I had] surgery there, I had radiation there twice and chemo,” she said, adding she split her time between Cartersville and Zion, Ill., during her cancer treatment.
For Flowers, one of the highlights of attending the ceremony was reuniting with and meeting others who also had reached the five-year survivorship mark. With more than 100 cancer survivors participating, the 2013 Celebrate Life event planted a tree for each guest of honor.
“It was just awesome — the celebration and some of the people that I met before while I was ... going through all that treatment, seeing them again and seeing they made it too,” Flowers said.
Along with the tree planting ceremony, other offerings included a red carpet reception, luncheon and a visit to the hospital, to lend words of encouragement to cancer patients.
“Each and every day is a celebration of life and survivorship,” stated Scott Jones, president and CEO at CTCA at Midwestern, in a news release. “At Cancer Treatment Centers of America everything, from our patient centered personalized treatment to our integrated therapies and supportive services, is orchestrated around the patient and their family. Patients and their families that are facing cancer choose us, and we stand side-by-side, hand-in-hand with them throughout their journey.”
For more information about CTCA, visit www.cancercenter.com.