To the Editor:

In my almost 80 years in New Milford, I have finally found the jewel in the town's crown -- the Diebold Family Cancer Center at New Milford Hospital.

For the past nine months, I have been a cancer patient. The center has literally saved my life, as it has done for many others.

The reception area is welcoming, warm and caring.

The aquarium glistens, there's a puzzle on the table for anyone to work on, comfortable chairs, a volunteer on duty who asks if you would like coffee or tea, and a receptionist who knows you by name, Sandra. She is kind and sympathetic, helpful, reassuring and most proficient in keeping everyone on schedule.

And Juan in the vital statistics group is kind and caring.

The chemotherapy unit in its entirety is extremely kind and careful with each patient. The nurses always made time to talk to each patient to reassure them and never kept us waiting for a procedure.

Dr. Lombardo is wonderful in her knowledge of each patient's program and is available for consultation and guidance.

Radiology therapy is scary. Thank heavens for Dr. Bargelini. He takes the time to explain all aspects of radiation and is precise in his work. Each patient is unique.

Radiation is no laughing matter and the recovery can be rough.

Nurse Imkhe is a most special person. She does not rush anyone and knows exactly what is needed to speed our recovery, as does everyone in that unit.

When Dr. Bargelini admitted me to the the hospital during an oncology emergency, I balked.

No way was I going to change his mind. He literaly saved my life.

I want to thank all the nurses in the isolation unit and the doctors who were constant in their care.

I don't know if I thanked them when I was released six days later, but I want them to know I appreciated all their time and knowledge.

Jessica Ifshin, acupuncturist, treated me almost weekly to help my recuperation. I believe acupuncture is the quickest way to balanced health.

A most appreciative thank you to this wonderful lady.

Thank each one of you for giving me back my life.

I found a jewel in the Diebold Family Cancer Center, and in the one-day surgery unit as well.

All of the nurses there are helpful, reassuring and efficient.

Dr. Khalil, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Lombardo, Dr. Bareglini and all the ones who visited me in isolation, I say a heartfelt thank you.

Bette-Lou Emmons

New Milford