It was a good feeling to know that the people there cared so much about me and my wellbeing.
When Terance Grant, 67, went to UMass Memorial to get a gallstone removed, he was not expecting them to find a cancerous mass on his pancreas. He had to undergo a demanding operation known as the Whipple Procedure to remove it.
The surgery went well, but the oncologist on site still recommended he get treatment as a preventive measure to target any straggler cancer cells. However, his doctor was a 30-minute drive from his house in Southbridge. So he decided to receive his treatment at the Cancer Center at Harrington.
“It was only three minutes from my house, and there was no parking fee!” he says.
Once at Harrington, he met with Dr. Christopher Seidler and received his treatment plan, which consisted of six months of chemotherapy. During this time, Terance was attended to by Nurse Rose Benvenuti.
“It was nice having the same nurse every time; you build a friendship and bond with them,” he says. “Everyone there is always so friendly, including the volunteers who would bring us juice and snacks.
“They treated everybody with respect, like you’re part of the family. During treatment, they’re the people you can depend on and talk to. They made things as comfortable for me as they could, answered any questions, calmed my fears, and explained things fully.
“As a side effect of my treatment, I lost weight and I would feel very tired the second and third days after the infusions. Now, I’m feeling better, I’m getting stronger.”
Terance received his last round of chemo in April 2015. He still goes back to see Dr. Seidler for checkups.
While he is happy to put this chapter behind him, he still considers himself very lucky.
“If I hadn’t gone to get that gallstone out, who knows how long it would have been until someone found the cancer.”
He adds, “I would never want to go through it again, but it was a good feeling to know that the people there cared so much about me and my wellbeing. Getting that kind of care so close to home is wonderful.”Terance Grant