Information regarding COVID-19 vaccine at St. Clair can be found HERE.

Cancer Care

Tom Sinton: On the road again

For Tom Sinton, 45, of South Fayette, the diagnosis of rectal cancer came as a complete surprise. A software developer, Virginia Tech graduate and husband of 19 years to Amanda and the father of three (Nate, 15; Emily, 14; and Luke, 12), Sinton was living a fulfilling life, with work he enjoyed and a thriving family. His cancer journey began with subtle changes in his bowel habits, in the spring of 2019. “It was just a change in frequency, not a big deal at all,” he recalls. “Then I saw blood in August. I had a colonoscopy which revealed a tumor in my colon.”

Continue reading

Christopher Babirad: Back on patrol

Christopher Babirad, 49, is a strong and athletic man who has served as a Pennsylvania State Trooper for 21 years. A former college football star at Washington and Jefferson College and a father of three (Ryan, 26; Alex 23; and Noah, 18), Babirad lives in McDonald. He is attentive to his health and fitness, so it was a bit out of character for him when he delayed telling his primary care physician, Kamlesh B. Gosai, M.D., that he was passing blood with bowel movements. “At first it was just occasionally, but it became more consistent,” he recalls. “I was worried: I knew it might mean cancer, but I kept looking for other explanations. I did a lot of Internet research – maybe it’s this condition or that one. It was nearly a year before I finally told Dr. Gosai. His physician assistant ordered a colonoscopy and when I woke up in recovery they told me I had a mass the size of a lemon right at the bottom of my colon. The gastroenterologist, Nicholas A. Bellicini, D.O., said it’s most likely cancer and then the pathology confirmed that. This happened last year on Christmas Eve.”

Continue reading

Reyne Mitchell: Positive long-term benefits

Oncoplastic breast surgery is a compassionate and innovative approach to breast cancer that considers the whole woman, beyond the cancer diagnosis, with an eye to her total well-being and long-term recovery. Reyne Mitchell, 57, of South Fayette, had oncoplastic surgery in January 2019 and she is grateful that her St. Clair Hospital physicians were always cognizant of the broader, lifelong impact of her experience. “I just wanted the cancer to be gone,” she says. “Thankfully, my doctors were looking at the big picture and wanted more for me. They wanted to give me an outcome that would truly put the cancer behind me in a more complete way. They didn’t simply treat me, they healed me because they saw me as a person, with life ahead of me.”

Continue reading

John Hvizda: Back on the farm

One day not long after John Hvizda, 72, of Waynesburg, Greene County, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, a neighbor pulled up to his house unexpectedly. Jesse wasn’t a close friend, but more of an acquaintance, and John invited him in, wondering what this visit was about. It was about cancer: Jesse had heard about John’s diagnosis of esophageal cancer and he thought he might be of some help. Jesse himself was recovering from the same cancer and had undergone the exact procedure and treatment that John was facing. John says that Jesse told him what to expect and gave him pointers about how to manage his recovery. It was, John says, enormously reassuring to hear from someone who could speak from experience, and he is grateful that Jesse took the initiative to approach him.

Continue reading

Rita Trocheck: Strong and determined

For patients diagnosed with cancer, hope and healing are essential, and can come from many sources. For Rita Trocheck, 52, of Presto, hope and healing came in the form of a beautiful baby boy named Giulian. Giulian, her first grandchild, arrived just a few weeks before her cancer diagnosis. Throughout every step of her long and arduous cancer journey, he has been a bright light, a blessing and an inspiration. He was, she says, “my best medicine,” and a powerful reason to get well. Today, two years after diagnosis, Rita is cancer-free and enjoying every precious moment with Giulian, her husband Vince, her son Vincent, his wife Hillary and son Leonardo, and daughters Desiree (Giulian’s mother) and Nina.

Continue reading

Pat Slowey: Back in the gym again

Every year in the fall, Pat Slowey looks forward to getting on his bike and cycling around the region, enjoying the beauty of the season while getting great exercise. Pat, 61, is a retired businessman, father of five and self-described fitness nut who lives in Upper St. Clair with his wife, Annie. He knows to expect a little temporary discomfort when he first gets back on his bike, but in September 2017, that discomfort felt worse than usual and did not resolve.

Continue reading

Theresa Greenwood: A true miracle

Do you believe in miracles? Theresa Greenwood does. Her oncologist, Vincent E. Reyes, Jr., M.D., Chief of Hematology & Medical Oncology, does, too, and calls Theresa “my miracle.” A profoundly spiritual woman, Theresa finds wisdom, comfort and hope in prayer, and she needed all of those things when she was diagnosed with advanced cancer. It began one morning when Theresa, 63, who lives in South Fayette, awoke to find a hard lump on her breastbone. She contacted her primary care physician, Donald E. McFarland, D.O., who immediately ordered a mammogram. That led to a sonogram and biopsy, and an unforgettable call from Dr. McFarland: “Theresa, you need to see an oncologist, a cancer specialist.” He referred her to Dr. Reyes.

Continue reading