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I came to Fox Chase Cancer as a patient in 1997 diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. My immune system was compromised from not only a previous cancer, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, but from a Bone marrow/Stem Cell Transplant for that cancer just three years prior. I was looking for not only excellent medical care, but compassion along with it. I had missed that part of the equation in my previous diagnosis.
The moment I entered Fox Chase Cancer Center and met with an entire medical team to start me on my way to recovery and remission, I had the feeling of security overwhelm my body. Everyone exhibits warmth, caring, and compassion that is just outstanding. Their commitment to your well-being shines through like a beacon of light.
Cancer is a family affair. It not only affects the patient, but it radiates through the family with questions, concerns, and that sense of uncertainty. When a loved one hurts so do those around them. Fox Chase Cancer Center addresses that situation with their procedures for family centered care. They are always striving to do what is best for the patient and their family. To help this along, nursing staff have begun to do change of shift reports in the patient’s room with the patient involved in the exchange of information.
In 2011, when diagnosed with a third cancer, Stage 1 Breast Cancer, my whole life turned upside down. I had been in remission for 13 years and now was dealing with an upcoming biopsy, surgeries and possibly treatment afterwards. My future was quite uncertain. The nurse navigator took me under her wings and, along with the doctors, technicians, nursing staff and social workers, guided me through the chaos of this new diagnosis. The emotions that I experienced were higher than I had ever dealt with and my family felt the same.
Fox Chase Cancer Center provided the hugs and the reassurance that everything would be OK and remission would come in the near future. With many complications from multiple surgeries due to reconstruction after a bilateral mastectomy, the nursing staff comforted me and helped me to work through the intense pain. The Family Risk Assessment Program helped me to decide the best possible future after testing determined that I am a carrier of the BRCA1 mutation. Now they are assisting my two sons with testing to determine if they carry the gene mutation. This is also done in a compassionate way as Fox Chase Cancer Center knows how to do.