Grateful Patient: Sonmi Miller
Sonmi (Hartle) Miller
Sonmi (Hartle) Miller was only 41 when she found a lump in her left breast during a self-exam. She immediately went to her primary care doctor who performed a clinical exam. The doctor also felt the lump. Sonmi needed to see a surgeon right away to have a breast biopsy.
She chose surgeon James Hurley, MD. Dr. Hurley performed a biopsy that confirmed Sonmi had breast cancer. He performed a left breast lumpectomy in December 2007 to remove the cancerous cells.
Sonmi was then treated by the next member of her team, Medical Oncologist Michael Cashdollar, MD. She received eight rounds of chemotherapy treatment, but always kept her positive attitude.
“I know a cancer diagnosis affects everyone differently, but for me, I decided right away that this wasn’t going to get me down,” Sonmi explained. “I stayed strong for my family and my friends. I know everything happens for a reason.”
After Sonmi completed her chemotherapy treatments, Radiation Oncologist Julia Blum, MD, planned 33 radiation treatments for Sonmi to complete her treatment for breast cancer.
During her treatment, Sonmi also met with Laura Gordon, Summit Health’s Breast Health Patient Navigator at the Rhonda Brake Shreiner Women’s Center. Laura was able to talk with Sonmi about how she was feeling, what the next steps would be, and how to make informed decisions about her care. “I knew that if I needed anything, Laura was there to help me or guide me in the right direction,” Sonmi said.
There are many other people on Sonmi’s team that helped her through this diagnosis.
Teamwork = Victory
“All of the staff I worked with was so wonderful and caring,” she said with a smile. “They have a wonderful group of people at Summit Health. Everyone from the receptionists to the nurses and doctors made me feel like they were all working with me to reach a common goal. What a wonderful team to have behind you.”
Sonmi is 45 now and has no indications of cancer in her breast. She has seen her oldest daughter graduate from high school and helped move her across the country. She has gone back to school to receive a pharmacy technician degree and changed her career.
A breast cancer diagnosis didn’t put Sonmi Miller on the sidelines. With the help of her team at Summit Health, she just keeps winning.
The Medical Team
Medical Oncologist: Dr. Michael Cashdollar, Summit Cancer and Hematology Services
Radiation Oncolgist: Dr. Julia Blum, Summit Cancer and Hematology Services
Surgeon: Dr. James Hurley, Summit Surgical Group - Chambersburg
Breast Health Patient Navigator: Laura Gordon, Rhonda Brake Shreiner Women’s Center