Square Dancing Great Grandma Doesn’t Miss a Beat Because of Cancer

Submitted by Tina Rockhold, Mercy Hospital

At 70 years old, Roxine Poznich simply isn’t ready to retire or let a cancer diagnosis interfere with her plans. So when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the square-dancing great grandma handled the do-si-do with the disease with determination.

Roxine with her dancing partner Ron Buhr at the 2014 National Square Dancing Convention in Little Rock.

The Diagnosis

Roxine’s cancer was diagnosed in late February.

“I wasn’t feeling bad, nor did I have any symptoms of any illness,” she said. “I’ve always been active and healthy so it never occurred to me I might have cancer.”

But she decided to take advantage of a heart and vascular screening that Mercy was promoting during National Heart Month.

“I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have that checked. When the radiology technician used ultrasound to check the arteries in my neck, ankles and abdomen for blockage, I certainly was not expecting her to find a softball-sized tumor just below my ribs.”

Roxine has worked as a level 2 histology technician at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott for 26 years.

“I see my co-workers in imaging services almost daily and I consider them my friends. Knowing that they were able to find the tumor makes me even more grateful for their expertise and the compassionate way they treat patients.”

Roxine with co-workers, friends and Mercy radiology technicians Leslie May and Kristen Rank. Photo Credit: Mercy Hospital

The Care Team

“Learning I had cancer was a shock. I was nervous about my treatment, so I wanted to be somewhere I knew the people caring for me. Plus, I wanted to stay in Fort Scott so I didn’t have the extra burden of traveling out of town.

“I knew I could count on the team at Mercy’s Cancer Care Unit of Hope to provide the best care available. Dr. Nassim Nabbout, oncologist/hematologist with Cancer Center of Kansas, took me under his wing and explained to me the process for surgery and treatment. He was kind, straightforward and honest – exactly what I needed to tackle the disease.

“I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Nabbout and the Mercy Cancer Care Unit of Hope nurses. The care is as good if not better than if I had traveled to a large hospital or bigger city. Our community is so fortunate to have this clinic at the hospital.”

The Outlook

Fortunately, Roxine’s form of cancer is slow growing and treatment success rates are high. She was even able to work throughout her eight weeks of treatment except for the actual days she received the drug rituximab.

Once her treatment was complete, she was released and back to dancing again.

The Privileges of Partnership

Mercy has partnered with Cancer Center of Kansas since 2008 to provide oncology/hematology services in Fort Scott. Through the Cancer Center of Kansas’ relationships with such well-known programs as M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., the program offers Mercy Fort Scott patients the most current cancer research in detection, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, control and quality of life. To learn more about the physicians and treatments available at Mercy Cancer Care Unit of Hope, call 620-223- 8589.

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