Nursing runs in Dianne’s family. She has been a nurse at Rose for over 30 years, and both her mother and sister went to nursing school as well.
“I worked in critical nursing, surgical intensive care, and a few other units before finding a real passion for pain management,” Dianne said. “I began managing the department in 2006 and since then, the pain clinic has doubled in size.”
Working as a nurse, Dianne knew the importance of preventive screenings and following the recommended guidelines, which is why she has been having annual mammograms since 40, and a colonoscopy at 50. It was the routine colonoscopy that may have saved her life.
“In 2007, I went in for my colonoscopy with Dr. Jonathan Fishman at the Rose Surgical Center,” said Dianne. “I have no family history and no symptoms, but when I woke up from the procedure, Dr. Fishman informed me that they had found cancer.”
Dr. Fishman recommended Dianne see Dr. Longcope, a colorectal surgeon who specializes in colon cancer. She was scheduled for surgery to remove the tumors the next day.
“It’s funny, because even after working at Rose for so long, I hadn’t met Dr. Longcope before. But I had heard that he was the best, and so I knew I was in good hands.” she said.
The doctor said he wouldn’t know if he could remove all of the cancer until they were able to get a better look during surgery. Luckily, Dr. Longcope was able to remove all of the Stage 2 cancer in one procedure.
“I was very lucky, because it was caught so early and they were able to remove it all,” said Dianne. “Because of that, I didn’t have to have any chemotherapy or radiation after the surgery.”
Today, Dianne is busy working, traveling, hiking and golfing, and has been cancer free for over five years. She regularly sees her oncologist, Dr. Feiner, and had colonoscopies every year until she hit the five-year mark, and now has them every two years.
She says that leading a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise is important, but that following screening guidelines for cancer is one of the best things someone can do for themselves.
“If I hadn’t had that screening, they might not have caught the cancer until it was too late,” said Dianne. “Now, I encourage everyone to go in for their colonoscopies and mammograms. It could save your life!”
To schedule a screening colonoscopy at Rose, call 303-320-2578.
The Rose “Surviving Well” Calendar is a 12-month calendar highlighting our cancer services, physicians, and inspirational stories from our patients. Dianne is our survivor for March, which is colorectal cancer awareness month.