Life changed when Thibodaux resident Sherry Fontenot visited Dr. Greg Chiasson,
internal medicine physician at Thibodaux Regional Health System, in 2006.
She went in for chest pain, and thought it may have been heart related
since she was not coughing or having any other symptoms. Her physician
referred her to a cardiologist and ordered a chest x-ray for further review.
After getting back her results, Fontenot received news that would change
her life forever.
Fontenot said “It definitely caught me off guard” when being
diagnosed with lung cancer only four years after her father died of the
disease. Determined to beat the disease, she and her physicians began
“It was a very quick, efficient process. All the doctors worked very
well together, they were all in the same loop,” said Fontenot.
Fontenot was originally referred to see a physician at MD Anderson. “Although
I had great physicians at MD Anderson, the personal treatment along with
the great physicians here made it an easy decision for me to seek treatment
at Thibodaux Regional.”
Dr. Tommy Fudge, cardiac and thoracic surgeon at Thibodaux Regional, performed
a lobectomy to remove the cancerous lobe in her lung in May of 2006. She
followed up with Thibodaux Regional Medical Oncologist Dr. James Ellis
for chemotherapy in July.
According to Fontenot, her treatments went well. “With God on my
side and the wonderful support of my family, friends and physicians, I
continued to work and live as much of a normal life as possible.”
“The staff at the hospital was exceptional. I went to ICU and then
to step down. I was eating by the third day and sitting up in a chair,
everyone was wonderful,” said Fontenot.
Returning to her normal life, Fontenot was cancer free four years, until
a reoccurrence in late 2010. Again, choosing to have treatment in Thibodaux,
she began chemotherapy treatments with Dr. Ellis and completed radiation
therapy with Dr. William Dunn, radiation oncologist at Thibodaux Regional
in April 2011, the same day as Relay for Life in Thibodaux.
Now, Fontenot is an excited grandmother of a 2 ½-year-old grandson,
and a 4 ½ year old granddaughter . “My grandson, Gage Michael,
and granddaughter, Selina Navarro, are quite the inspiration. Those little
angels have given me more life than you can ever imagine,” said
Fontenot. “I will fight tooth and nail, because I will be here a
long time to play with those children. They love their grandmother very
much.” She routinely follows up with imaging exams to track any
possible new occurrences of the disease and is determined to continue
to be a part of her family’s life.
Fontenot said she is grateful for those that helped in her care, and highly
recommends the physicians and staff at Thibodaux Regional Health System.
“I met wonderful people, including patients, physicians and staff,”
said Fontenot. “I had the best physicians. I would never change
any decision I made in physicians, treatment or anything else.”
About Thibodaux Regional Health System
Thibodaux Regional Health System, a 185-bed acute care facility, provides
inpatient and outpatient care for the people of Lafourche and seven surrounding
parishes. Highly specialized services offered include Heart Surgery, Medical
and Radiation Oncology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Sports
Medicine, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, General, Laparoscopic, and
Bariatric Surgery, Pulmonology, Rheumatology, Women’s Services,
Sleep Disorders, Behavioral Health, and Inpatient and Outpatient Physical
Nationally recognized for quality care and service, Thibodaux Regional
has been named a Distinguished Hospital by J.D. Power and Associates and
has been honored with the Press Ganey Summit Award for high levels of
patient satisfaction. In 2009, Thibodaux Regional received the Outstanding
Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on
Cancer for the second time and is the only hospital in Louisiana to do so.
For more information about treatments at the Cancer Center of Thibodaux
www.thibodaux.com/cancer or call (985) 493-4700.