Kimberly Buchmeier of Auburn, Neb., was diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma lung cancer in March 2011, at age 37. She underwent a lower right lobe lobectomy, followed by four months of chemotherapy, and today receives regular CT scans to ensure that her cancer has not returned.
Though she feels good now, getting the treatment she needed was a huge challenge. Auburn, a town of just 3,000 people, did not have a medical oncologist, so Buchmeier was forced to travel 150 miles round trip to the Southeast Nebraska Cancer Center, in Lincoln, for her thoracic surgery, chemotherapy and follow-ups.
The experience was exhausting and often frightening, Buchmeier recalls. “If I was sick from chemo or I needed something special, help was 75 miles away,” she says. “You already have cancer, you’re going through chemo and you feel terrible, and you’re driving an hour and 20 minutes one way just to get treatment. So the distance was a huge challenge for us.” So was the lack of information about lung cancer, and of specialized treatment, which is far more accessible in larger cities. Rather than choosing from among a variety of cancer centers and oncologists, Buchmeier was simply told where to go for care, and who would treat her. “I can’t believe the lack of options I had available to me,” she says. “I feel I was limited in my care.” – See more at: http://www.curetoday.com/publications/cure/2015/summer-2015/a-country-mile#sthash.ENGlY6CQ.dpuf