Genevieve Sliker - Patient Story
“I truly benefitted from the partnership between Hunterdon and Fox Chase."
— Genevieve Sliker
Although Genevieve Sliker tells other cancer patients to be patient, she doesn’t waste time herself. In October 2010, she discovered a lump on her navel and went to the doctor that same day. Within two days, she had an ultrasound, which was inconclusive. A few days later, Genevieve underwent a CAT Scan. By the time she arrived home from the test, her doctor had left a message to come to her office. That is when Genevieve learned she had a cancerous tumor in her pancreas, just two weeks after her husband’s cousin lost his life to this aggressive disease.
“I was shocked,” admitted Genevieve, who reported no symptoms other than a loss of appetite. Genevieve and her husband, Bruce, celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary in 2010. “I wasn’t going to give up without a fight. I have too much to live for."
To help guide their treatment decision, Genevieve called a family friend, Beth Glashoff, managed care coordinator at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center, a Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner hospital near their home. Her husband Bruce was also treated for cancer at Hunterdon. “Beth was so helpful. She knew I wasn’t going to give up without a fight. I have too much to live for,” said this mother of three, grandmother of five and great-grandmother to two.
“It was so comforting to know I had high quality cancer care near my home, and that the doctors worked closely with the team at Fox Chase,” shared Genevieve. She met with her local team of doctors, Dr. Andrew Greenberg, radiation oncologist, and Dr. Myron Bednar, medical oncologist, along with Lori McMullen, RN, MSN, OCN, who started Genevieve on a course of radiation and chemotherapy designed to shrink the tumor.
Lori McMullen is a nurse navigator at Hunterdon who guided Genevieve and Bruce through the sometimes challenging process of cancer treatment. She worked closely with Dr. Bednar and Dr. Greenberg to refer her to a surgeon at Fox Chase. "My nurse navigator, Lori, Dr. Bednar and Dr. Greenberg were so wonderful. I could sense they really cared about me and my family and tried to make the process as smooth as possible," shared Genevieve. "During radiation, my pacemaker was set off about six times. But the staff was knowledgeable and was able to reset it very easily. That was a big comfort to me."
Genevieve traveled to Fox Chase to meet with Dr. John Hoffman, a surgical oncologist and one of the nation's most experienced surgeons in the complex Whipple procedure. A Whipple involves removing the head of the pancreas, some of the small intestine , the bile duct, the gallbladder (if it hasn't already been removed) and sometimes the distal stomach. The bile duct, stomach and pancreas must then be reconstructed.
“I felt so fortunate to have such wonderful doctors working together to develop my treatment plan,” said Genevieve. Fortunately, she responded very well to the treatment and by the summer of 2011 was ready for surgery. Dr. Hoffman performed the delicate surgery in September, which was a success.
“I am amazed. My tumor started out the size of a grapefruit and is now gone,” said Genevieve. “Dr. Hoffman is a fantastic man – that’s all I can say. He’s very personable and called me before every procedure.”
Genevieve spent the fall of 2011 recovering from surgery and returning to her hobbies of crocheting and quilting. She’s even learned how to Skype so she can see her great-granddaughter in Montana. "I have a wonderful and supportive family who have helped me through this trying time in my life."
“I truly benefitted from the partnership between Hunterdon and Fox Chase. It was so convenient getting my care at Hunterdon and my surgery at Fox Chase. I'd like to thank the entire staff at Hunterdon who really saw me through the entire process. I feel like I had the best team of doctors on my case and am here to tell everyone about it!”