Nurse Walks on the Sunny Side of Life
Virginia Wilbanks, a nurse of 38 years, was familiar with medicine, but when she was diagnosed with breast
cancer in 2011, she felt like any other patient: Scared. Fortunately for her, she had superior medical care at Saint Mary’s and the devotion of her husband, Charles.
Married only seven years at the time of her diagnosis, the couple reacted to the situation the only way they knew how: they prayed, they loved, they drove the mountain roads to enjoy the changes in nature, they enjoyed their grandchildren, and, whenever the opportunity arose, they continued to laugh. Wilbanks was determined not to let cancer get her down!
Virginia’s journey began after a lump was detected during a routine screening. After various tests, Virginia
learned she had was a mucinous tumor, a rare form of cancer that can mimic a cyst.
After two lumpectomies and the removal of several lymph nodes at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, her doctors highly recommended treatments at Saint Mary’s Regional Cancer Center. Virginia was shocked. As a resident of Pope County and a member of the medical community, she hadn’t been aware there was a cancer center in Russellville.
“From the moment I walked through the doors, I dealt with the most wonderful group of people. The whole staff:
Donna Worthen, Amy Falleur, Cindy Hughes, Donna Crow and Dr. Darrell Speed are just phenomenal. They all made sure I was always taken care of,” she said. “In fact, if a family member or friend of mine needed radiation, I’d insist they go to Saint Mary’s.”
Although she can’t medically be declared ‘cancer-free’ until five years out of the treatments, Virginia has had no troubles. She attributes her successful outcome to her persistence and the Saint Mary’s staff.
“Now, we can enjoy our grandkids and hop in our jeep or convertible and enjoy the spring sights,” she said.