It’s another breast care milestone for London. The new Breast Care Centre at St. Joseph’s Hospital is now complete, creating an innovative setting for patient care and collaboration among care providers.
The grand opening:
The new space – which totals 6,500 square feet - was officially opened and blessed on May 24.
Bust a Move for Breast Health:
Also at the opening, St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation announced its first Bust a Move for Breast Health event – a six-hour fitness extravaganza. The event was held April 6, 2013 and raised more than $1 million for the Breast Care Centre.
Because breast cancer is a journey...
My name is Dr Susan McNair. I am a mother, a wife and a Family Physician. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2010 and have had a lumpectomy and bilateral mastectomies. As you can imagine, the journey has had its difficult moments.
Many of those difficult moments have been made all the more liveable thanks to some very special people at St. Joseph’s.
I will never forget the day Dr. Ward Davies told me that I had cancer. It was on the worst storm day in December 2010. The storm was so bad I missed meeting with Nurse Clinician Margo Bettger-Hahn that morning after seeing Dr Davies. By the time I got back home after hearing my diagnosis, Margo had made it through the storm to work, and was calling me to see how I was doing.
She talked with me a long time on the phone, helping me, through tears, to figure out what words I would use to share the news with my 6 and 10 year old daughters.
Nurse Navigators Gillian Milez and Linda Cooper had most unique and important roles. These nurses were present on the day of the lumpectomy in the Department of Radiology to answer questions, listen to concerns and generally be there for support. Their support was phenomenal and compassion palpable.
During the early days after my first mastectomy, I was having a lot of pain and difficulty sleeping with my arm pressing against the drain tube. Nurse Bettger-Hahn called me one day to see how I was and I shared this with her. That day, on her way home from work, she dropped off a pillow designed to lessen the pressure of my arm on my chest wall. What a blessing it was at the time, and after my second surgery.
Surgeon Dr. Ward Davies and Radiologist Dr. Don Taves have been central to my care. Words can never express to them my gratitude. It was only because of Dr. Taves’ expertise and diligence in identifying concern on a screening mammogram that led to a lumpectomy and and a diagnosis of the cancer at an early stage in the growth of the tumor. Dr. Taves has been more than kind at answering my questions, taking my anxious calls and in recognizing that as a physician, the experience of illness is indeed intensified with fear and anxiety. I can never thank him enough for the care he has afforded me.
And then there is Dr. Davies. I will be eternally grateful to him for his decision to perform the lumpectomy. As well, given persistent seromas – or collections of fluid – which I experienced after each mastectomy, I saw Dr. Davies regularly for some weeks. Despite the demands of his busy his clinical and administrative life he always took time to put me at ease and to reassure. I feel fortunate to know that my follow up in the coming years will be with a surgeon with such skill, both surgically and interpersonally.
I hope that these words are effective at explaining to you the really very fine and very compassionate care which I have received at St. Joseph’s on this breast cancer journey.