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Cassandra Baker

  • Author: Cassandra Baker
  • Date Submitted: Apr 5, 2017
  • Category: Cancer Care

“Initially I was going to hide and not tell anyone, not even my 25-year-old daughter. Dr. [Russell] Dounies convinced me to do otherwise and it is the support of my family that helped me get through it all.”

Cassandra Baker, 45, sought immediate attention after detecting a lump on her breast after a routine self-examination. Within days she received a mammogram, x-ray pictures, to find any signs of a breast tumor and/or cancer.

“No one wants to hear you have cancer. I said to myself, ‘I am too young for this’ and I broke down,” Cassandra said.

High-resolution images of different layers of the breast determined she had a cancerous tumor. With the assistance of surgeon Dr. Russell L. Dounies, the tumor and five lymph nodes where removed. She continued treatment with chemotherapy from oncologist Dr. Robert Havard Jr., and radiation treatment from radiation oncologist Dr. Veena Ramsinghani.

Cassandra has had a very positive attitude regarding her experience because of the friendly and caring medical staff at Sequoia Regional Cancer Center (SRCC). “My guardian angels Alyssa, Elisa, Jaime and Tara [technicians at Sequoia Regional Cancer Center] got me through my treatment and for that I am thankful,” Cassandra said. Furthermore, she is thankful for the hugs and advice she received from a patient she met at SRCC in Hanford, who eased Cassandra’s fears and built up her courage and confidence by showing Cassandra her scars. A whole community joined in on her journey, including Pastor Charles Williams and First Lady Jessie Williams from Renewing Faith Christian Tabernacle Church, who gave her spiritual strength to fight on.

Cassandra is now able to take time to do what she loves most – playing with her granddaughter, which includes singing, dancing and having tea parties. “She keeps me young,” Cassandra said.

“I now have a bigger heart to love those who love me, and I can love them back,” Cassandra said. “Stay positive, press forward and have faith in God is my advice along with using Kaweah Health’s excellent services.