Dee is pictured here with her son.

Sometimes we find strength in the oddest places. For someone going through cancer treatment, it may be inner strength or support from family and friends, but often, strength is found through all the behind-the-scenes work of the care team.

In the spring of 2021, Dee Hibbert was diagnosed with cancer. Her journey started when she went in for a routine mammogram. Further imaging and a biopsy revealed she had breast cancer.

“I have always been good about going in for my regular mammograms and performing self-checks at home. I never found anything, but the mammogram did,” she said.

From there, she had surgery with Quincy Medical Group (QMG) General Surgeon Dr. Christian Zwick and began her treatment plan in August with chemotherapy. As she prepared for treatment, she vowed to keep up with life as normal, but that proved to be more difficult than she thought.

“I am a healthy, active person. I told myself I would keep up with exercising and not let my everyday life be affected by this,” Hibbert shared. “I soon realized I was not as strong as I thought I was. I had days I felt so badly that I couldn’t keep up. I had to find a new rhythm for my everyday life and be ok with it.”

Giving herself grace throughout treatments was an important lesson gained for Hibbert, especially with unexpected obstacles she faced along the way. The same week she started chemo treatments, her father-in-law suddenly passed. Weeks later, she tested positive for COVID, which delayed her treatments by three weeks.

Her final chemotherapy treatment was the day before Thanksgiving, and she began her first of 23 radiation treatments the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Now, with chemo and radiation behind her, she said her family and the team at the QMG Cancer Institute helped give her the strength she needed to get through all the treatments, even on the hardest days.

“I was at my chiropractor’s office sharing my treatment experience with the receptionist, and she said ‘There’s something special about the team at QMG. They make it feel like a spa day,’” Hibbert said with a laugh. “She is right, you almost forget you are there to treat cancer.”

Hibbert makes the drive to Quincy from Camp Point for her treatments. Though some would find the drive inconvenient, she said the friendly faces she has come to know and enjoy at QMG have taken the edge off having to commute to so many appointments.

“My dad came with me for one of my final treatments. He was so amazed at how wonderful the atmosphere was,” Hibbert said, “and I could not agree more. I have gotten to know just about everyone and they me. It has meant so much to me throughout the process to be surrounded by such a compassionate and caring care team.”