3500 S Lafountain Street
Kokomo, IN 46902
As a bus aide and substitute teacher for her local school district, Melody is used to helping to care for students. As a wife and a mother of three boys, she dedicates herself to her family and often puts their needs above her own. Yet, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she found herself in a situation where she was the one who needed help.
For treatment, she sought care through John Thomas Salter, MD, an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician specializing in medical oncology on the campus of Community Howard Regional Health. He recommended surgery, chemotherapy and radiation as part of Melody’s treatment regimen.
For support, she turned to her husband, sister, parents and several friends. Eventually, her Community caregivers also became a source of strength for her and even helped to relieve the financial burden of cancer by connecting her to Community’s Oncology Patient Assistance Fund, which provides $250 gift cards to cancer patients in need so they can access food, gas, medicine and more.
“I was shocked,” Melody said when she remembers receiving the gift card. “It was a relief and just nice to know that someone cared. Our three children are all in sports, and we’re always running around after them. The holidays were approaching, and we were worried about what we could afford to do for them. Thanks to this support, we were able to purchase gifts and enjoy the holidays together.”
When she thinks back on the beginning of her battle, she remembers her fear.
“In my first appointment, I was a train wreck,” she said. “I cried my eyes out the whole time.”
“One of the worst parts for me was the thought of losing my hair,” she added. “It’s like being kicked when you’re down.”
In total, she completed 16 chemotherapy treatments and six weeks of radiation under the care of Tracy Price, MD, an MD Anderson Cancer Network certified physician specializing in radiation oncology.
After her extensive treatment, Dr. Salter delivered positive news – she was cancer-free. To celebrate, Melody rang the bell at Community Oncology Center in Kokomo to signify her treatment had ended.
The path to health was long, but Melody never lost hope. And, when she talks about her experience overall at Community, she repeats one word over and over again – “godsend.”
“It proved to be a godsend to be at Community Howard,” she said. “I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else.”