Survivor Stories

Mary Gilbert

In 1996, after graduating from the University of Oregon, where she was a double major and a member of the Ducks’ storied track and field team, Mary Gilbert started her career in real estate. Her career was going great when in January 2014 she noticed a small lump under her arm, which she quickly had biopsied. It was cancer.

She immersed herself in learning about cancer and, with guidance from her doctors, chose chemotherapy, surgery and then radiation therapy as her treatment plan.

“I started chemo treatments every other week from March through July,” she says. “I started eating healthier foods and prepared myself for the journey”

Mary’s athletic training helped her develop a routine that prepared her mentally to remain positive. After chemo, the surgery and radiation treatments went smoothly, and her treatment plan was completed in October 2014. Six months later she was cancer free.

“My experience at the Community Cancer Center was great,” she says. “They did an excellent job preparing me for the whole process. I could tell each doctor and staff member sincerely cared about me as a person and a patient; it’s a patient-first culture. It is refreshing to experience that level of care five minutes from my home. For me, the most important thing about dealing with cancer is having a team of cancer specialists that educate and involve you in the process.”