“It was shocking, terrifying, humiliating, devastating – all at the same time,” Steamboat Springs resident Betsy Seabert explains of hearing her cancer diagnosis. “It’s the scariest news.”
A Light in the Darkness
When Betsy was diagnosed with breast cancer, her sister suggested she go to a cancer center in Littleton – a three-hour drive one way from her home – where she had surgery and chemotherapy.
One week after she began chemotherapy, her 30-year-old son passed away.
“I was already feeling bad physically and emotionally, and then being hit with that was indescribably devastating,” Betsy says of her loss.
Over the following weeks, Betsy continued chemotherapy in Littleton. She learned that once it was completed, she would need six weeks of daily radiation.
But Betsy didn’t have the strength to drive back and forth to Littleton every day. So, she began looking for cancer care closer to home. Shaw Cancer Center at Vail Health was the answer.
A Home Away from Home
“I was really amazed to find out Shaw was so close and that it had everything I needed,” she says. “Being from out of town, Jack’s Place was an immense blessing.”
Betsy made herself at home at Jack’s Place – a cancer caring house for out-of-town Shaw patients and their caregivers – bringing paintings, photographs and everything she needed to set up a remote office in her room.
“I think the ladies at Jack’s Place were a little surprised when I kept wheeling in furniture, my computer and files,” she recalls. “I set up camp, and they were very accommodating.”
Jack’s Place became Betsy’s home away from home, Monday through Friday, for seven weeks.
Self-Care and Positive Change
Betsy’s journey with cancer changed her life dramatically. “I’ve always been a really strong individual, always taking care of everyone else,” she explains. “Staying at Jack’s Place gave me the opportunity to focus all my attention on taking care of myself.”
Like every patient at Shaw, Betsy was given complementary access to the Spirit of Survival program, which includes free fitness classes, nutrition coaching, emotional support and other activities. “I took advantage of everything I possibly could, and it turned my life around,” she says.
Today, Betsy is back to work full-force and enjoying an active life.
What began as a “convenience and necessity,” as she describes her care at Shaw, turned into a journey toward recovering from the devastation of cancer and the loss of her son. And through it, Betsy has rediscovered herself.
I was really amazed to find out Shaw was so close and that it had everything I needed. Being from out of town, Jack’s Place was an immense blessing.