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Published on March 06, 2012

Patricia Feuerborn, Patient at KishHealth System Cancer Center

After her annual mammogram with Dr. Sandy Kwak, the radiologist who read the test, at Valley West Community Hospital, Patricia Feuerborn received the news that no woman wants to hear. The test had shown a suspicious area. After another mammogram and a follow-up sonogram, the results were still inconclusive, but Dr. Kwak wasn't comfortable letting it go so she asked Patricia to follow up with her regular doctor who then referred her to a surgeon.

A biopsy was done of the suspicious area and Patricia was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and lumpectomy was performed at another local hospital. Patricia then decided to come back to The Cancer Center at Valley West Community Hospital for her chemotherapy, and received radiation treatments from The Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Community Hospital. Both hospitals and cancer centers are part of the KishHealth System.


Patricia was very impressed by the persistence of Dr. Joseph Kmiecik, who followed up and continued to order more tests until a diagnosis was reached.

“I am very thankful that Dr. Kmiecik didn't drop the issue when the first mammogram was inconclusive. He performed a second mammogram and a sonogram that both proved inconclusive. But he kept seeing tiny specks on the scans, and he knew it was something to be concerned about. He kept at it and made sure I did too.”

“Because Dr. Kmiecik was persistent they were able to find the cancer early and treat it successfully.”


After Patricia’s lumpectomy she decided to return to The Cancer Center at Valley West Community Hospital for her chemotherapy.

“I chose to take my chemotherapy at Valley West because of the convenience of not having to travel far. It is only a few miles from my home.”

“I did my radiation at The Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Community Hospital because it is an easy drive. It is basically a straight shot up to Sycamore and since it was winter when I was receiving my radiation, it was easier for my husband to drive to Sycamore.”

Dr. Ramesh Kola and the entire staff at Valley West are caring and kind people. The care I received was excellent.”


During her chemotherapy treatments at Valley West Community Hospital, she felt she was well informed.

“Dr. Kola and the nurses were very good about explaining what drugs they were giving me, what the drugs did and what side effects to watch out for, which was good because I did have an allergic reaction to one of the drugs. One of the common drugs that are used for chemotherapy is the drug that I reacted to. However, Dr. Kola changed the drug twice until he found one that didn’t bother me and would still do the job.”

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