Following treatment for colon cancer, Cindy Homant is so much a part of the Sparrow Family that she volunteers at Sparrow Herbert-Herman Cancer Center in order to assist Caregivers and help Patients going through what she did.
It’s a far cry from late 2017 when she received a stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis. The cancer was discovered with a regular colonoscopy. Colon cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine. Symptoms can include persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation, a change in the consistency of your stool, rectal bleeding or blood in your stool, persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain, a feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely, weakness or fatigue, and unexplained weight loss.
Homant explains the challenges of finding the right cancer treatment hospital and cancer Physicians to guide her through her illness following her diagnosis.
“The weeks after that are devastating,” she said. “You’re trying to find out what hospital to go to. Everyone is trying to give their opinion.”
Homant met with her team, including Dr. Hamdan (“He’s amazing–he really put my mind at ease”) and together they walked through her colon cancer treatment process. Because of the comprehensive cancer care at Sparrow, Homant understood every step of her cancer journey such as chemotherapy options, treatment duration, side effects, and appointment frequency.
Homant felt at ease with her oncology team, and now says she loves Sparrow Herbert-Herman Cancer Center because everyone makes her feel like family. “If I could tell the caregivers anything,” she said, “it would just be thank you.”
Homant became a colon cancer survivor in June 2018. She started volunteering at Sparrow in October 2018 – shortly after finishing cancer treatment – because of the gratitude she feels for the Sparrow Caregivers. Volunteers are a key part of Sparrow’s model of compassionate care. Being able to talk with others who have “been there” helps patients feel more confident and comfortable during their treatment and stay.
“I feel comfortable now when I walk in here. Rather than feeling sad or negative, it’s like this is a good place because this is the place that saved your life,” Homant said through tears.
The Herbert-Herman Cancer Center features a multi-disciplinary team approach that puts the Patient at the center of everything we do. Patients will see a team of clinicians under one roof and in one visit, rather than making separate appointments with specialists from different practices. Each Patient will receive an individualized treatment plan with input from numerous specialists. Each major cancer has its own clinic, such as breast, lung, and colorectal cancer.
Sparrow is transforming care through innovation such as the region’s only cancer genetics counselor and access to cutting-edge clinical trials. Sparrow’s certified genetics counselor has access to geneticists and counselors from our partners at the Mayo Clinic, when needed. The Herbert-Herman Cancer Center is home to the largest clinical trials program in the region and the only one accepting Phase 1-3 clinical trials not accessible to Patients anywhere else locally.
Sparrow’s comprehensive relationship with Mayo is making a difference in the lives of our Cancer Center Patients every day. Our oncologists participate in eTumor boards with Mayo Clinic cancer specialists daily, discussing and evaluating cases, and Sparrow oncologists consult directly with Mayo surgeons. Mayo second opinions are available to our Patients without the need to travel.