Local woman embracing life with hope despite cancer diagnosis
No one ever wants to hear their physician say that they have cancer, but if you ever receive this diagnosis, Rose Tackett, who currently is undergoing cancer treatment at Williamson ARH Hospital, recommends that you choose a compassionate and experienced oncologist who will research treatments and encourage you to embrace life with hope.
In 2006 after a CT scan of one of her kidneys, Tackett was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
“Your life doesn’t stop the day you hear you have cancer,” shared Tackett. “Yes, you are stunned and anxious about your diagnosis, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a death sentence; and if you are a person of faith like me, you have this wonderful assurance that not even cancer is greater than the power of God.”
A local urologist told Tackett that there were no treatments or a cure for kidney cancer, and recommended removing the kidney. Believing this was her only option, Tackett agreed, standing firm in her faith that God would be with her.
The surgery was a success and Tackett regained her strength and continued living her active life until she became seriously ill in 2009.
“When I became ill, I knew there was a possibility that the cancer had returned, but I also knew God was with me and I could face whatever it was,” said Tackett. “After a series of tests, a surgeon in Charleston, W. Va. confirmed that a new mass was found and he removed a portion of my colon.”
Although this was a setback for Tackett, she never stopped believing that God would take her through this second battle with cancer.
“Battling cancer takes a lot out of you physically, mentally and emotionally,” shared Tackett. “So I leaned on God for strength and healing, and was determined to live my life.”
Tackett’s determination and faith yet again sustained her through the experience, and though she had some difficult days, she had more days filled with joy. Soon, she was back to her active life and praised God for his goodness. Tackett felt a new strength and closeness to God.
In 2011, when her life was very busy and filled with family, church and community activities, Tackett started experiencing pain in her lower back and went to see her primary care physician. After some tests, she was told that she had a large mass located where her kidney had been removed.
“I was stunned to hear that I had to face yet another battle with cancer,” said Tackett. “But learning the mass was so large that surgery wasn’t an option was overwhelming.”
Devastated by the news, Tackett prayed and asked God to help her find an oncologist with knowledge of kidney cancer.
“I believe there are reasons why things happen and why God brings certain people into our lives at just the right time,” said Tackett. “Because of my relationship with God, he gives me strength to continue to fight this disease. I am weak, but God makes me strong.”
After much prayer, Tackett felt God was leading her to choose Walid E. Baz, MD, an oncologist and hematologist at Williamson ARH Hospital.
“I had not been to any doctors at Williamson ARH, but I had heard positive comments about Dr. Baz, and with God leading me, I knew I should call him,” noted Tackett.
After calling to make an appointment with Dr. Baz, Tackett soon learned that not only did Dr. Baz have the experience, he had been researching this type of cancer and was aware of a new medication that had some success in treating the disease.
“Dr. Baz is an amazing doctor,” exclaimed Tackett. “During my first appointment, he was so kind, compassionate and respectful. He listened and really understood my concerns. He also answered all my questions and explained how this new medication would attack the cancer cells, but have some side effects. Dr. Baz was honest about the risks, but he also gave me hope.”
Tackett began her treatments and just as Dr. Baz had explained, she became very ill during the first round of medicine which affected her quality of life. Still, she continued each round of treatment with a new-found hope.
“As sick as I was during the initial treatments, it was worth it because the tumor started shrinking--praise the Lord,” Tackett shared.
Over the last several months, Tackett has continued taking treatments, and the mass is completely gone.
“I feel so blessed to be back to my active life with my family and friends,” said Tackett. “I thank God for his goodness and for leading me to Dr. Baz.
Tackett praised Dr. Baz and his staff at Williamson ARH Hospital for the excellent care she received during each visit.
“I have always embraced life--living life to the fullest--and called on God for direction,” shared Tackett. “During this battle with cancer, it was Dr. Baz who found a treatment that no other physician did; and because of Dr. Baz, I now embrace life with hope.”
Williamson ARH Hospital is a member of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) system. ARH is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating 10 hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.
The ARH system employs nearly 5,000 people and has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members representing various specialties. Firmly committed to its mission of improving the health and promoting the well-being of all people in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia, in the past 12 months alone, ARH provided nearly $142.8 million in uncompensated care for the uninsured and underinsured.