Yvette King is a graphic artist who says the whole world is her palette. So it’s no surprise that when it came to her treatment plan, this creative thinker was open to trying something a little different.
In the fall of 2015, she came to the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC) to learn about her options for treating mesothelioma, as she was concerned about potential damage to healthy tissue. She and her husband both embrace the latest technology, so when they learned about proton therapy – a highly advanced and precise form of radiation – they decided to try it.
Yvette, who lives in Bowie, Maryland, about 40 minutes from MPTC, admits that at first it was daunting to think about coming to MPTC for six weeks. However, her experience with the center soon made her feel comfortable.
“On the first day, you feel like it’s a family. There was an instant connection with the staff. Now I can’t wait to get to Baltimore!”
Yvette adds that the other patients are also warm and, to her surprise, happy.
“You wouldn’t think that people who sit for radiation every day would be happy, but they are.”
She feels that the patients all share a common goal: they are “fighting to be survivors. All these people want to keep life going.”
Her message to other patients is to remember that you’re in good hands.
“The staff are phenomenal, let them help you. You can’t do this alone. I had to learn how to quit being a giver, and start being a receiver.”
Yvette commemorated the completion of her treatment on Monday, August 8, 2016 with a bell-ringing ceremony. Her husband and daughter joined her on this special day.
From the physician, Dr. Shahed Badiyan:
“Mrs. King was an ideal candidate for proton therapy. The newest generation pencil-beam scanning proton therapy technology available at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center allows us to deliver proton therapy to the areas in her chest at risk for recurrence of the cancer while significantly reducing the radiation exposure to the nearby healthy lung, heart, liver and kidney. This is a big technological improvement over traditional radiation and in the case of Mrs. King will translate into a reduction in short- and long-term side effects from radiation.”