Breast Cancer Awareness: A Doctor You Can Trust
We've likely all heard the saying it takes a village. While this phrase is commonly applied to raising a child, we find it to be very fitting in medical journeys.
Meet Kim Waked and Alicia D. Warren, our September and October Survivors, respectively.
Kim and Alicia have more in common than just breast cancer, they both had supportive, fast-thinking doctors - and that can make all the difference.
When Kim went for an annual mammogram and her doctor noticed a mass, he advised her to schedule a biopsy. However, he didn't stop there. He also showed her the mass on the screen and from his visible assessment explained to her that it looked like it was already stage 2 breast cancer and to start looking for a surgeon.
As most of you may know, in battling these aggressive diseases, every moment counts. So by sharing his foresight he not only prepared Kim for the extent of the situation, but encouraged her to move speedily and not wait for a biopsy to confirm what he already sensed was happening. We cannot stress, or applaud, this action enough.
When Alicia first felt a lump and visited her primary care physician to have some blood tests and labs taken, he contacted her urgently that the results were abnormal. Alicia recalled he not only provided a referral but actually scheduled the appointment for her.
Unfortunately, as many of us can report, while this should be the norm, it's not. Kim and Alicia were incredibly fortunate to encounter doctors who moved quickly and also shared information with them transparently. There are many doctors who do not and the patient is left in the dark about their own prognosis. A patient does not know the urgency of a medical situation unless the doctor explains this. So aside from the potential physical harm that is created in withholding this information, there is also emotional harm. For Kim and Alicia they were prepared immediately that the situation needed immediate attention. There was no wondering what was happening, what the next steps should be, if the situation was serious, and so forth. They were given peace of mind, along with proper medical attention.
For Kim and Alicia, their journeys began the best possible way they could have, with knowledge. Knowledge is power. From then, they each followed the recommended treatment plans which differed for each of them.
Kim, who had cancer in both breasts, was encouraged to undergo chemotherapy before any next step.
"My oncologist recommended I do chemo to shrink the cancer so my surgeries would be less invasive," she recalled. "I said hit me as hard as you can."
Kim found laughter and love to be great forms of medicine.
"Having a sense of humor, support from my family and friends, and a strong will to live helped a ton," she said.
For Alicia, surgery was the first step before radiation. However, before she could embark on any of that she needed some time to reflect and visited an aunt. After nearly two months, she felt ready.
"So combining all of that emotion and understanding in her home, caused me to come to my senses and come back home and fight," she recalled. "So from October 2015 until December 29, 2015 my last day of radiation, I fought every day, most days even driving myself to and from treatment."
We are so grateful that Kim and Alicia had incredible care and were able to detect their cancers early enough to have successful treatments.
What a great way to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month with not one but two incredible stories of survival!
Until next time, keep us with us on Instagram, and always keep your Eye on Strength!