Infusion now available in Polk County

Retired nurse Ruth Cantrell both volunteers and is a patient at St. Luke's Hospital in Columbus. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Retired nurse Ruth Cantrell volunteers at St. Luke's Hospital in Columbus, phoning patients who recently had surgery.

With a recent diagnosis of breast cancer at the age of 89, Ruth knows all too well about health problems.

"I just never expected this would happen to me at my age, but it did," she said.

She also didn't expect to receive chemotherapy locally. St. Luke's now has its own infusion center.

"It's very important because it allows us to treat patients that would have to go pretty far out of county to get those treatments, and sometimes those treatments can be daily," explained Dr. Matt Rees, a hematologist and oncologist.

"I'm five minutes from home, and I can just come here and get my treatments," Cantrell added. "It's just wonderful."

Infusions can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours... and for those that take that long, there are private rooms with beds.

"The main cancers we see are breast, colon, prostate and lung, but we see many other types of cancers, as well," Rees said.

Ruth keeps tabs on just about all the patients.

"I haven't slowed down at all," she laughed. "I just keep going."

She's providing and receiving personal care at the place she knows best.

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