WVU Cancer Institute gives woman more time with her grandchildren

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Kimberly Conrad, 45, of Weston, did not see her cancer coming. She was going about her life and spending time with her children and grandchildren when she started hemorrhaging.

Kimberly Conrad poses with her grandsons Brendon Conrad (left) and Aiden Conrad (right).
Kimberly Conrad poses with her grandsons Brendon Conrad (left) and Aiden Conrad (right).

The emergency room staff at her community hospital found a large tumor in her cervix was invading her bladder and causing it to bleed. After receiving blood transfusions, she was transferred to WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital to receive an embolization to stop the bleeding. 

Doctors at the WVU Cancer Institute diagnosed her with stage IVA cervical cancer. In stage IV, cervical cancer has spread into other nearby organs, such as the bladder or rectum. Her cancer was treated with low dose chemotherapy with radiation to shrink the tumor.

“It was a long road, and it was hard,” Conrad said. “There were times that I didn’t think I was going to make it because it was so rough, and I was in so much pain. The doctors at WVU Medicine cared for me like I was family. My medical team was there for me when things were scary. They were just so nice.”

Conrad says her doctors helped her keep fighting. They helped her get a room at the Rosenbaum Family House while she was receiving treatment because she lives so far away.

“We are always working to deliver patient-centered care at the WVU Cancer Institute,” Valerie Gavan Turner, M.D., gynecologic oncologist, said. “A cancer diagnosis affects so many parts of patients’ lives, and we have to make sure that they are able to make it to treatments and that they have a strong support system. Our team treats the whole person, not just the disease.”

According to Dr. Galvan Turner, Conrad’s last PET scan showed no signs of cancer.

“Prevention and detection go a long way,” Galvan Turner said. “We recommend that all women under the age of 45 receive the HPV vaccine and receive Pap smears per recommended guidelines.”

Now, Conrad is able to go back to her normal activities. She says she looks forward to being able to spend more time with her children and grandchildren.