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Centegra Sage Cancer Center develops customized radiation therapy plan to help McHenry woman

Lying flat on her back doesn’t work for Kristen Fisher.

Years of back and neck pain made sure that position brought the McHenry resident nothing but suffering and tears.

When she needed radiation treatment for breast cancer, the first hospital Fisher visited couldn’t find a way she could get treatment without being in that agonizing position.

“The way they had me set up, I was afraid I would have a spasm during treatment,” Fisher said. “My mom had radiation therapy at Centegra and had talked about how great the team was, so, on the day I was supposed to start radiation treatment … I called Centegra for a second opinion.”

She set up an appointment at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center with Rena B. Zimmerman, MD, an independent radiation oncologist on the medical staff at Centegra Health System.

“I met with Dr. Zimmerman, and she was the most compassionate and wonderful person,” Fisher said. “They had already pulled my MRI to see what was going on with my neck, and Dr. Zimmerman promised me they would find a way to make radiation therapy work for me.”

The team at the cancer center in McHenry had all sorts of different pillows and foams out to develop a solution that would make radiation therapy comfortable for Fisher. The solution ended up being a custom mold to put her in a more comfortable position.

“At the end of the first appointment, I hugged Dr. Zimmerman, because I was so grateful and had been afraid I wouldn’t be able to get this treatment,” Fisher said.

At Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Fisher received precise radiation therapy to treat her breast cancer.

“The radiation techs were absolutely incredible. They never made me feel like I was a burden on them,” Fisher said. “The entire staff there was truly amazing. They really are wonderful and caring.

“I would not hesitate to highly recommend the Sage Center to anyone. I feel like they saved my life, I really do.”

Learn more about the precise radiation therapy and other cancer care offered at Centegra at Centegra.org/cancer.