“Our experience with Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has been a blessing. You hear about people going through miracles, and you never think you’ll be living one.”
When Amanda Breshear’s mother, Bonnie Gamso, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in October 2020, she immediately knew Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center would be the place to care for her.
Amanda had her own experience with the Cancer Center previously and felt confident her mother would receive the best care possible. “Hands down. I knew 100 percent we needed to work with this team of people.” Amanda and her mom had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Daniel LaVie, medical oncologist with Louisiana Hematology Oncology Associates, the same day they received the diagnosis.
Oral Chemotherapy Treatment Provides At-Home Comfort
Amanda describes Bonnie as an incredibly strong and independent person. Though retired, she enjoyed staying busy. When she became sick, Amanda moved her mother out of the hospital and brought her home under hospice care. Due to her condition, there was uncertainty about what the next steps should be and how much time Bonnie may have left.
A few weeks after Bonnie’s biopsy, Amanda received a phone call from Dr. LaVie about an oral chemotherapy drug option for Bonnie. “He sounded like a kid in a candy store!” Amanda says. “He found this specific pill that he felt she could do well with, and he was excited that he could give it to her.”
Oral chemotherapy is a relatively recent development that provides for a more convenient at-home option for eligible patients. The cancer-fighting drugs are given by mouth in tablet, capsule or liquid form.
Bonnie has been taking the oral chemotherapy Dr. LaVie prescribed since November 2020 and has experienced great results. Amanda is thrilled Bonnie is able to be treated in the comfort of her home and says she has gained some of her independence back. “She went from being in a bed unable to move and is now starting to do some things on her own again,” Amanda says. “It’s really been remarkable.”
Life-Changing Care at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Bonnie is undergoing physical therapy and is now able to take short walks. Amanda says it’s because of Dr. LaVie and the Cancer Center team that her mother is still with her and able to live a higher quality of life. “There’s no doubt that it was Dr. LaVie’s wisdom and knowledge that brought her to this point. His care has been remarkable,” she says. “We have loved every minute of being with him and his staff, and we’re forever grateful for his team.”
During this journey, Amanda decided it may be time to make a change herself and is considering enrolling in nursing school. “Our world got turned upside down, but in the best way possible,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling job than doing for someone else what Dr. LaVie and his team has done for me.”