Patient Testimonials

Cancer was an unexpected chapter in Ina Rooks’ life.

An avid reader of nonfiction books, Ina’s real life story began when a routine mammogram showed a malignant tumor.

One of Ina’s top priorities at the time was taking

computer classes at a local college. After talking with

RMC Surgeon John Valente, M.D., she quickly decided to have a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery because she was anxious to resume her classes.

Despite her good intentions, the following months of chemotherapy were exhausting. Fortunately, the daily visits to the hospital, frequent exams and consultations with the RMC Cancer Care team were close to her Clay County home. And she took great comfort in the compassion and concern shown to her as a human being, not a number.

Three years have passed since Ina’s surgery. Although she did finish her classes, she now assists other breast cancer patients through RMC’s Steel Magnolias support group. Sharing that unexpected chapter of her life to help others ended well for Ina.

The last thing Pam Bussey worried about was breast cancer.

She’d much rather focus on her granddaughter, literally the true Joy in her life.

With no family history or symptoms of breast cancer, she was stunned when a routine mammogram and follow-up testing confirmed a malignant growth.


As an LPN at RMC’s Wound Care Center, Pam knew the importance of evaluating all options to help restore your body’s health. Within days, she scheduled surgery with RMC’s James West, M.D., to remove her left breast. Pam, the caregiver, became Pam, the patient.

Eight months of chemotherapy later, Pam became active in Steel Magnolias, an RMC support group of breast cancer survivors, serving as its president for the next two years.

Cancer free since her 2004 surgery, Pam’s experience brought her much reflection. Learning to let others provide care, getting to know other survivors and spending time with her family, including granddaughter Joy, helped her heal as she continues to help heal others.

After her cross country move, Sandy Barker was up for anything - except cancer.

Moving here from Massachusetts brought many positive changes for her and her family. Being diagnosed with breast cancer just wasn’t one of them.

Sandy told her doctor about some soreness she had been experiencing in her breast. A mammogram, ultrasound and needle biopsy showed cancer. She immediately underwent a lumpectomy and endured months of chemotherapy intertwined with daily radiation treatments, medical injections and physical exams.

RMC Radiation Oncologist Dr. Jefferson Trupp oversaw much of Sandy’s treatment. As part of RMC’s Cancer Care Team, he’s one of several doctors caring for Sandy to make sure she stays in good health so she can continue to enjoy spending time with her family.

And Sandy feels fortunate to be in good hands at RMC. With all its cancer care services, treatment, technology and expertise, RMC helps those with unexpected life changes.