Glasgow, Kentucky has been Karen Benedict’s home for over 50 years. She and her late husband, Carroll, raised their two children here, and they enjoyed staying active in the community. They became involved with their church family and the local hospital, where Carroll joined the board of directors in 1995, eventually becoming chairman in 2003. Two years later, in 2005, Karen was diagnosed with uterine cancer, the most common of gynecologic cancers and occurring most frequently in postmenopausal women. She was otherwise healthy, so the diagnosis came as a shock.
From September through December that year, she received radiation therapy at Barren River Regional Cancer Center. Karen was treated with external beam radiation, a high-energy dose of radioactive beams that are precisely aimed at the cancer from outside of the body. External beam radiation is capable of killing cancer cells and shrinking tumors. In addition to this form of treatment, Karen underwent surgery to remove the cancer.
The choice to use Barren River Regional Cancer Center for the course of treatment was simple. Through the Benedicts’ involvement in their community’s healthcare, they knew that traveling to a big city was not necessary to find the most advanced treatment options. Dr. Craig Tyree and the staff of Barren River Regional Cancer Center provide compassion and leading-edge technology to residents of Southcentral Kentucky. Karen feels fortunate that during her time of need, she was able to remain at home with her family and friends.
In addition to the advanced care, Karen appreciated the relationship she was able to develop with Dr. Tyree and his staff. “Dr. Tyree is gentle; he has a genuine concern for his patients. He’s just a caring, caring person, and that’s what is so wonderful about him,” she said.
Karen has maintained a joyous and lively spirit despite the challenges she has faced in recent years, and today, she is proud to say she has passed the five-year mark of being cancer free. She feels great and suffers no side effects from her prior illness and treatment. In her spare time, she reads, plays bridge with a group of friends, and works at a local dress shop. She enjoys spending time with her son, daughter, and young granddaughter – each of whom live close by. Karen also credits her church family for a significant role in the encouragement that she received. That overwhelming support has inspired her to give back to others in her community. She knits cage blankets for cats at the local shelter. She also knits prayer shawls and lap blankets for nursing home residents and people needing warmth and comfort during times of sickness.
Barren River Regional Cancer Center provided the technology and expertise in the treatment of Karen’s cancer, but they also provided hope. “Everyone at Barren River Regional Cancer Center is so sweet and supportive. Under the circumstances you’re in, it’s the place to be,” said Karen.