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Hear from a Breast Care Center Patient

Debbie A.

When routine care turns into specialized care.
 
More than 52 years ago, Debbie A., of Arlington, Massachusetts, delivered all three of her children at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and has been receiving routine care at the hospital ever since. Recently, this routine care changed for the 75 year old after she was diagnosed with reoccurring breast cancer.
 
In November 2014, Debbie had a screening mammogram at St. Elizabeth’s Center for Breast Care and it showed a lesion on her left breast. Then, a biopsy confirmed cancer.  Working with Jan Rothschild, MD, a breast surgeon at St. Elizabeth’s, Debbie had a mastectomy on her left breast in December. She had already had a mastectomy on her right breast when cancer was detected in 1989.
 
"I am the sole caregiver for my 47-year-old daughter who has multiple sclerosis and was diagnosed as a teenager,” says Debbie. “I’ll do anything to be here for my children and I knew when I first met Dr. Rothschild, whose smile beamed right through me, that I wanted her to be my doctor through this journey.” 
 
Debbie’s recovery went well and she takes anastrozole, a chemotherapy medication, for further treatment. In addition to the care she received from Dr. Rothschild and her medical oncologist, Leslie Martin, MD, Debbie was also overseen by a nurse navigator who was her guide, mentor and advocate before, during, and after her treatment.
 
“All of the staff at the Center for Breast Care was wonderful and my nurse navigator, Cheryl, was unbelievable,” explains Debbie. “From day one, she made me feel that everything was going to okay. Knowing this made me feel good and confident.”