For Miami Valley Today
PiQUA — When Sabrina Hill first experienced pain in her breast in early 2018, she thought it was caused by muscles aching from repetitive work at her job at a Piqua industry.
A few months later, Hill learned the cause of the pain was far more serious — breast cancer.
After receiving confirmation of the cancer in October 2018, she chose to seek treatment at Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) and its Cancer Care Center, seeing Dr. Mohan Nuthakki after receiving a recommendation.
“I wanted to stay close to home and had never heard anything negative about the Cancer Care Center,” she said.
“At my first appointment, they told me what they would do and would not give up,” she said. “I was really pleased with that.”
She subsequently has worked with Dr. Rajeev Kulkarni and Dr. Ronald Setzkorn first undergoing chemotherapy from October into March.
She had a mastectomy in early May and is in the midst of radiation treatments.
“They are great,” Hill said of the physicians.
Many people reached out to her, including Heather Penwell, a patient navigator a the UVMC Cancer Care Center.
“I was a mess, scared. She talked to me. She was literally my rock,” Hill said.
Penwell informed her about the disease and answered her many questions.
A Piqua resident, Hill said her journey began in early 2018 with pain in her left breast. She attributed it to the repetitive work that included lifting and pulling material out of a machine. “I initially thought the pain might be from working muscles more,” she said.
The pain went away a short time later and didn’t return until summer 2018 when she noticed a red spot in the breast that didn’t go away. In September she was referred to a surgeon and the diagnosis followed.
Hill praised the UVMC Cancer Care Center staff for their care from day one.
“Those ladies are amazing. They were there for me a lot,” she said. “They are like my family. They are one of the best group of people. They are very good at what they do.”
At age 38, Hill said she wants to use her experience to help encourage women of all ages to pay attention to their bodies. Cancer, she said, is not limited to any particular age.
“Every woman knows their body. If you feel something is wrong, suspect in any way, get it checked out,” she said.
“Be strong, as strong as you can,” she said.
Hill recently returned to work part time at Bob Evans in Piqua. The past year has been filled with fear, encouragement and hope. A PET scan in August detected no active cancer. She has a long list of supporters who have provided a strong support system.
She and her boyfriend, Rick Jones, have a busy house with five children, a household that carried on during her treatment thanks to those who provided meals, rides, and saw to their other needs. Hill said their “family” at the Shady Bowl, where her son races, and the racing community along with family and friends have been more than great.
“I feel truly blessed. If it wasn’t God’s will, none of this would have worked,” she said.