My oncology story started on March 2, 2012 when I returned for a 6 month follow-up mammogram after clustered calcifications had been identified at my annual mammogram in October of 2011. This mammogram was followed by a core needle biopsy, MRIs and a diagnosis of Stage II breast cancer. On May 2, 2012 I had a mastectomy performed by Dr. Pam Wright while Dr. Doug Forman initiated breast reconstruction. On June 25th, Dr. George Sotos commenced chemo treatments at my Community Oncology Center, Associates in Oncology and Hematology…my final infusion of Herceptin occurred on September 9th, 2013 and I celebrated my “One Year Cancer-Free” status on May 2, 2013 by walking the Washington, DC, Komen 5K with the Suburban Hospital Team, on May 10, 2013.
Once I got my diagnosis and took time to process it, I knew I needed an army of people praying for me. I composed an email, explaining my current situation and asked everyone to pray for healing. An outpouring of love, support, and prayer followed and God has blessed me, big time! I’ve received exceptional medical, nursing, and health care from all-star teams in every specialty. My outstanding oncologist kept every other physician, including my primary doc, informed…every step of the way.
This past year and a half have been filled with many blessings and wonderful fellow warriors, many of whom were met in the “chemo room”…the place where skill, compassion, and humor were served along with the life-saving cocktails of pre-meds and chemotherapy infusions. These frequent “get-togethers” took place in my local community oncology center where I and my fellow travelers came to know each other on a very personal level and where our wonderful care providers knew each of us by our names, situations, special needs, and where we were treated as special and unique individuals…the administrative, business and front desk staff, technicians, research staff, physicians and nurses provided extraordinary skill, knowledge, and compassion …the likes of which we’d be hard-pressed to find in a large hospital setting. The community oncology setting is more than a place…it is a philosophy, focused on the patient and on providing the best treatment, care, and convenience to maximize every minute of every day, for every person.