Michelle Holmgren, Public Affairs & Community Relations Specialist
(Office) 413-967-2296 (Cell) 413-237-6743
Ware, MA (November 16, 2012) - Art has been a part of Paulette Charpentier life for over 20 years. From the time she took her first class in watercolor painting, it was apparent that she had a great gift. A resident of Ware, Charpentier has since been a featured artist at special events and craft shows throughout Hampden and Hampshire Counties. Her vibrant work is easily recognizable as it often features area landmarks and local scenes.
Charpentier recently gifted one of her works to the team at the Baystate Medical Center Hematology Oncology Satellite located at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. “I am a big supporter of my local hospital,” said Charpentier, who speaks candidly about her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2004 and the fact that she had been cancer-free until a few months ago.
“Early this summer, a cough brought me to the doctors,” said Charpentier. “I saw my primary care physician and was treated with medication, but the cough persisted, so I re-visited my doctor and had a chest x-ray. I was expecting to hear that I had pneumonia, and was shocked when my doctor called to tell me that I had something much more serious,” noted Charpentier.
Additional testing confirmed that Charpentier had stage 4 lung cancer.
Charpentier met with Dr. Chandravathi Loke, a faculty member with the Baystate Medical Practices Division of Hematology and Oncology who provides care at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. Dr Loke did a physical exam, reviewed Charpentier’s lab tests, and recommended a treatment plan.
“Before making a decision about what to do, I went to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for a second opinion about my diagnosis and treatment options,” said Charpentier. “I returned home feeling reassured after the doctors at Dana Farber told me that they totally agreed with the course of treatment recommended by Dr. Loke, and supported my wish to have treatment close to home.”
Lori Tuttle, RN, OCN, program manager at Baystate Mary Lane, said the team there strives to ensure that patients feel completely supported and confident about what's happening to them during a very challenging time. “Some of our patients feel the need to get a second opinion regarding their diagnosis and plan of care, and we strongly encourage them to do so. They come back from these visits feeling confident that they are receiving the most current cancer care, including evaluation, diagnostics, therapeutic intervention, and chemotherapy – all close to home,” she noted.
Charpentier is already planning for a busy holiday season. “I spent the morning in my studio at home, making greeting cards out of some of my favorite paintings, readying for the holiday craft shows,” she said. Now several months into her treatment with the chemotherapy drug called erlotinib (Tarceva®), Charpentier reported, “I feel good except for the rash on my face. And though there is no way of knowing how long this medication will work, I’m glad to know there are clinical trials available should I need to consider other options.”
The Baystate Regional Cancer Program Oncology Infusion Satellite at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital provides personalized, responsive, quality patient care close to home, plus ready access to the experts at the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care in Springfield. For more information call the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital at 413-967-2241 or visit baystatehealth.com/cancer.