WVCI staff celebrates survivorship at Relay for Life

Trenda Dominguez is grateful every day—grateful to assist patients though her job as a scheduler for Willamette Valley Cancer Institute's gynecologic oncology department and grateful to call herself a cancer survivor. Nearly ten years ago, at age 35 and just after the birth of her son, Trenda was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. "I remember being tired, and I didn't feel great, but I also had a newborn and I was in the process of [...]

Photographer views cancer diagnosis through unique lens

When Bob Petit gazes through his camera lens, he sees wonder and beauty. Calling himself a “serious amateur,” his love of photography has grown over the years. Yet, not even with the clearest of lenses, could Bob have seen his cancer diagnosis coming. “I had a feeling something was wrong, because I was sleeping 14 hours a day,” Bob says. “But I didn’t think about cancer.” After many exams, tests and surgeries to treat [...]

Young survivor plans for future after cancer

Lindsey Bills was excited about all the things she would learn when she enrolled at the University of Oregon. She didn’t expect cancer to become part of her learning experience. Everything changed for Lindsey when she noticed a swollen lymph node on the right side of her clavicle in November 2013. “On my 20th birthday, I was on a trip to Portland with some friends,” she says. “During the trip, I would get twinges [...]

What is lymphoma?

Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the cells of the lymphatic system, which is responsible for fighting disease and infection. Because the immune system is found all throughout the body, lymphoma can begin almost anywhere. “Lymphoproliferative disorders (including CLL and NHL) are abnormal accumulation of lymphocytes,” says Dr. Jeff Sharman, director of research at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. “Lymphocytes are kind of like the brains of the immune system and generally speaking, when they [...]

By | February 15th, 2016|Blog, Inside WVCI, Leukemia/Lymphoma|

Firefighter turns loss into hope for patients

Firefighter and paramedic Michael Lundeen has spent his career helping people during scary and difficult moments. For Michael, one of his most difficult moments was losing his close friend, David Sneed, to cancer. Six months after complaining of pain under his arm while playing golf, David passed away from lymphoma at the age of 27. “That loss really woke me up. He was too young,” Michael says. “Somehow, in my mind, I thought this [...]

For WVCI staff, Relay For Life is personal

Bonnie Allen has a unique perspective on cancer. In her role as a senior executive administrative assistant at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, Bonnie supports doctors and staff in treating patients. As a mother, daughter, sister, and granddaughter, Bonnie’s watched the disease repeatedly touch the lives of the people closest to her. “We have a lot of cancer in our family,” Bonnie says. “When it bites you personally, you stand up and pay attention.” She [...]

By | July 28th, 2015|Blog, Inside WVCI, Leukemia/Lymphoma|

What is Staging?

An important part of treating a patient’s cancer is to first find out how far it has spread, or what “stage” it has reached. “We want to know: Where is the cancer? Has it spread from where it originated in the body? And if it has spread, to what degree?” says Willamette Valley Cancer Institute oncologist Dr. Wayne Ormsby. Knowing the stage helps doctors plan the appropriate type of treatment, estimate a patient’s prognosis [...]

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