OHSU

My Knight Cancer Story - AYA

Caron Blau Rothstein (age 36), Portland, Ore.

I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) in August 2008 at age 35. Once I processed this unexpected news, I sprang into action. I knew the importance of care that was thorough, thoughtful and prompt. Since I had moved to Portland from the East Coast just a year before, my knowledge of the medical resources here was limited. My mother-in-law was a patient at Pacific Oncology, so I called them about a CRC specialist.  

Communications with Pacific Oncology are professional and compassionate. The ease of making or rescheduling appointments, getting prescriptions and having my concerns addressed made an unthinkable experience bearable. I can't say enough about the oncology nurses who cared for me during six months of chemo after surgery. Pacific Oncology treated me—a whole person, not just a cancer diagnosis. The pleasant facility and caring staff made a difference in how I experienced my illness and the road to recovery. 

Now that I have completed active treatment, the OHSU Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Support Group is helping me gain new strength and perspective. While I also participate in a colorectal cancer group, most CRC survivors are older and don’t share my life stage and concerns. The AYA group has more of my peers—people balancing work and treatment or recovery, people with partners and children and people who no longer take youth and health for granted. Listening and sharing my concerns with them is helpful. I foresee attending the group for a long time. I wouldn't wish cancer on anyone, but if you are a young adult with cancer in the Portland area, it is good to know that places like Pacific Oncology and the OHSU Young Adult Cancer Support group are there for you every step of the way.

I always felt and continue to feel that Pacific Oncology has treated me as a whole person, not just as cancer in a person.  The ambience of the facility and the demeanor of the people who work there really made a difference in how I experienced my illness and how I am experiencing the road to recovery.