When Susan Justice learned that she had breast cancer, she couldn’t believe it. “The only risk factor I had was that I had my first child after the age of 30. I was a non-smoker, very active, ate a healthy diet, and rarely had a drink. I had no breast cancer history in my family.”
But, a mammogram showed a suspicious spot and, as a nurse, Susan knew she needed to pursue it. “I came to Good Samaritan Hospital on a recommendation of my best friend, who is a nurse. I never regretted the decision.”
From the day she walked in the door, Susan knew she was where she needed to be.
“I felt completely at ease in terms of entrusting my care to the Samaritan Breast Center. I was very pleased with the nursing care. Being a nurse, I had a critical eye. I would stress their professional, competent, compassionate care from the get-go.”
Surgeon Thomas Heck, MD, co-medical director of the Samaritan Breast Center, with radiologist, Diane Anderson, DO, sat down and discussed the needle biopsy Susan required. “I appreciated that he gave me a heads-up about what could be down the pike.” When Susan left the office, she felt equipped with information, support, and resources.
When the biopsy sample came back, Dr. Heck presented Susan’s options. Due to the aggressiveness of her type of cancer, she opted for the bilateral mastectomy.
Susan ran the gamut of emotions when she learned she had cancer.
“It was a bit surreal.” She decided to be an active participant in her care planning. Dr. Heck and the breast cancer team at Samaritan Breast Center empowered her to do that through consistent communication and education.
Two years later, Susan is busy raising her sons, and feels great. “I was so touched by the people who reached out to me in my cancer journey.”
Content Updated: December 4, 2014