10-year survivor: My triple-negative breast cancer care led me to work at MD Anderson

I wasn’t working at MD Anderson yet when I learned that I had triple-negative breast cancer in July 2009. But after hearing about two family members’ positive experiences there and then becoming a patient myself, I really, really wanted to. The thing that drew me in most was MD Anderson’s Core Values: Caring, Integrity and Discovery. I saw them listed everywhere at MD Anderson, particularly in the elevators. They explained the importance of treating everyone with courtesy, kindness and respect. And that’s exactly what I got as a patient in MD Anderson’s Nellie B. Connally Breast Center. Why I came to MD Anderson It quickly became clear to me what sets MD Anderson apart. The first oncologist I’d seen had really scared me. She told me that if my cancer was at stage I or II, it was treatable; if it was at stage III, it might be treatable; and if it was already at stage IV, the best she could do was “keep me comfortable.” But I didn’t want to be kept comfortable. And I wasn’t going to just sit back and wait to die. Based on what I knew about MD Anderson from my family, that was, without a doubt, where I would go. My life depended on it. My cousin referred me to her radiation oncologist, Dr. Gregory Chronowski. He works at MD Anderson West Houston, which was at a different location at the time. I called for an appointment, and a last-minute cancellation allowed me to see him the very next day. He did such a thorough exam that I felt totally confident in my...

10-year survivor: My triple-negative breast cancer care led me to work at MD Anderson

I wasn’t working at MD Anderson yet when I learned that I had triple-negative breast cancer in July 2009. But after hearing about two family members’ positive experiences there and then becoming a patient myself, I really, really wanted to. The thing that drew me in most was MD Anderson’s Core Values: Caring, Integrity and Discovery. I saw them listed everywhere at MD Anderson, particularly in the elevators. They explained the importance of treating everyone with courtesy, kindness and respect. And that’s exactly what I got as a patient in MD Anderson’s Nellie B. Connally Breast Center. Why I came to MD Anderson It quickly became clear to me what sets MD Anderson apart. The first oncologist I’d seen had really scared me. She told me that if my cancer was at stage I or II, it was treatable; if it was at stage III, it might be treatable; and if it was already at stage IV, the best she could do was “keep me comfortable.” But I didn’t want to be kept comfortable. And I wasn’t going to just sit back and wait to die. Based on what I knew about MD Anderson from my family, that was, without a doubt, where I would go. My life depended on it. My cousin referred me to her radiation oncologist, Dr. Gregory Chronowski. He works at MD Anderson West Houston, which was at a different location at the time. I called for an appointment, and a last-minute cancellation allowed me to see him the very next day. He did such a thorough exam that I felt totally confident in my...