What most persuaded Tracy to receive treatment at the New York Proton Center was the superior technology of proton therapy, particularly the remarkable precision with which proton beams are able to target a tumor without exposing healthy organs and tissues to excess radiation.
“That was definitely a big deal,” she explained. “Since I already had lung issues, I was very skeptical about conventional therapy. I just wanted the radiation to hit the tumor and nothing else. I felt much more secure with protons.”
Over time, Tracy found herself increasingly comfortable with and optimistic about her treatment—what she refers to as “gradually making friends with the machine,” a suggestion she received from a fellow survivor she met in the waiting room. In hindsight, she also recalls with deep gratitude the compassion and generosity shown to her by the center’s staff.
“Overall, I can say that I really felt cared for. Everyone was so genuine—which was just a great experience, considering what I was going through on the inside.” One employee she recalls—or in her words, “brags about”—with particular fondness is Chrissy Rubin, a social worker she met with regularly.
“It was an incredibly difficult time. I had already been struggling with my mental health, and honestly, getting treatment just added to the stress. But every time I talked to Chrissy, it was great. I just felt so supported.”
And when Tracy’s insurance company initially denied coverage for her treatment—a predicament she describes as “scary”—the center’s financial counselors went to bat for her, mounting an appeal that proved successful.
“Basically, they said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take care of everything’—which they did,” Tracy said.