Vicky Graham

From the first moment I came in contact with City of Hope, I have been impressed. Within one day, I was contacted for an appointment and two days later, I was at my first appointment. I met Dr. Reckamp, who initially did not believe my nodule was cancer, but she reassured me that she would be with me until she discovered what was in my lung. After several tests and biopsies, I was diagnosed with Stage IIIB adenocarcinoma. Each test and results came quickly; I never had to be put on hold to wait for answers. As soon as my doctors knew the answer, they contacted me personally. This is unheard of in today’s typical medical office. But then again, City of Hope is not your typical medical center.

From day one, whether it be doctor, nurse or clerk, I have been treated with respect and concern for my whole being. I am in awe of the treatment I have received and I do not just mean the chemo or radiation. It’s the genuine concern for each and every one of us and our own situations. I had to travel 65 miles each way to my treatments and appointments. City of Hope schedulers went out of their way to coincide all of my appointments and minimize the trips I had to make. I have never been treated so kindly by medical staff and felt as if I mattered to them personally. My nurse practitioner, Cindy Kelly, went out of her way to make sure all of my concerns or needs were met and Dr. Reckamp was a constant reassurance to me that I was getting the best care possible. Dr. Pezner and his radiation department staff were awesome as well. Each appointment was quick and efficient and the staff were always so nice. They always remembered my name and just made me feel so normal.

I was told I could opt to have my treatments continued closer to my home but after experiencing City of Hope, there was no question in my mind that this was where I wanted to be treated. I followed up with continuous checkups for the next four years. When it happened four years after my initial treatments that my cancer had returned, there was no doubt in my mind that I would return to City of Hope for treatment. I met with Dr. Raz and one-and-a-half years ago, had a portion of my lung removed. There is no other place for me.

I will continue to have my checkups with City of Hope as long as they will have me! I would not consider going anywhere else. In fact, I pay for a specific health insurance policy just so I know I can go there. Dr. Reckamp once said that the whole staff, from the front desk to the scientists, are there because they care and it is evident in every way. I am so thankful and blessed by everyone there. I hope to be able to give back in some small way. It will never feel like enough but whatever I can do, I am willing.

City of Hope is there to meet all of their patients’ every need. They treat more than just the cancer; they treat the whole person. In my opinion, there is no other place to go than City of Hope. There is always hope and I have hope because of the wonderful people at City of Hope.