Susan Powers had three months to live.
Powers was diagnosed with stage-4 breast cancer in 2003. It had spread to her liver and bones.
Powers is one of many Westchester residents who have been treated by the Memorial Sloan Kettering satellite office in Sleepy Hollow on the Phelps Memorial Hospital Center’s campus.
“It’s been a long, up and down battle,” Powers said, “but these people here at Phelps have really just taken me into their arms and really made my life better than I ever thought.”
Sloan Kettering’s philosophy is centered around disease management teams, according to Dr. Maureen Killackey, deputy physician-in-chief and medical director of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Regional Care Network. Physicians each have their own area of expertise, such as breast cancer or lung cancer. Patients work with a team of Sloan Kettering medical professionals who specialize in treating specific cancers. Sloan Kettering also partners with patients’ primary physicians in the community and offers trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and research studies initiated by Sloan Kettering.
“It assures our patients are getting state of the art expertise,” Killackey said.
Instead of making the trip down to New York City, the Sleepy Hollow location means that patients have a more convenient place for cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. Killackey estimated that 13 to 14 percent of all Sloan Kettering patients are from Westchester and the Hudson Valley. The Sleepy Hollow office itself has two physicians specializing in breast cancer and one in lung cancer.
Powers said she had been going to Sloan Kettering’s New York City location for testing, but came to the Sleepy Hollow location to begin treatment. The closer location cut her traveling time in half.
Powers described herself as a big advocate for the cancer center and was one of many cancer survivors who praised the hospital during a recent cancer survivorship celebration that Sloan Kettering hosted. She was quick to thank the cancer center for their care.
“If I die today, I would have lived an amazing life and it’s all because of the care that I’ve gotten here,” Powers said.
Because she was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer, Powers will never be cancer-free. But she said her life wasn’t about that anymore.
“It’s about making the best quality of life,” she said.
Have you been treated for cancer at the Memorial Sloan Kettering's Sleepy Hollow location? What was your experience?