When I was diagnosed with stage IB invasive ductal carcinoma — a type of breast cancer — in at age 36, my husband and I were clueless as to what to do. Should I stay in my small hometown to receive treatment or go somewhere else? What would be the best decision for me — and us — to keep me around for the people I love?
I have a fantastic doctor here in southern Alabama, but he didn’t have much experience with breast cancer, so he encouraged me to seek treatment elsewhere. I’m glad I followed his advice. After doing some internet research and talking it over, we knew that MD Anderson was our first choice. But we worried that being 10+ hours away from home might present more challenges than the breast cancer treatment itself.
A text from an old high school classmate is what finally swayed us. She connected me with her best friend, Dr. Makesha Miggins, who’s a breast surgeon at MD Anderson. It turns out that we both came from the same small town, and our mothers once taught school together. Dr. Miggins told me that cancer was MD Anderson’s specialty, and I would receive the best care in the world if I went there. Before long, she’d convinced me that MD Anderson was my place, too — and that going there was the right choice for me.
My breast cancer treatment
I had my first appointments there with Dr. Anthony Lucci, Dr. Abenaa Brewster and Dr. Michael Stauder on July 10, 2018. And by the end of our first meeting, I was over the moon with my decision to choose MD Anderson. When I left that day, I knew my care team had my best interests at heart.
To treat my breast cancer, my doctors recommended lumpectomy surgery to remove the lump, followed by 22 rounds of radiation therapy. I would not need chemotherapy. I had the lumpectomy on July 24, 2018, and started radiation therapy in early September. My last treatment was on Oct. 9, 2018, and I’ve been cancer-free ever since then.
MD Anderson brings me peace of mind
The level of care at MD Anderson is like nothing I’ve ever seen — from the check-in clerks, housekeeping staff and radiation therapists to the nurses, physician assistants and doctors. All of the employees are just phenomenal.
I’m sure there are days when the people at MD Anderson don’t want to be at work, just like I sometimes don’t. But it never shows on their faces. Everyone is so friendly and always has the best attitude. It’s like heaven on Earth.
The best thing about MD Anderson is the peace of mind it brings. It’s the No. 1 cancer hospital in the nation, and cancer is all they do, so they see cancer cases like mine every day. That’s important, because I didn’t go to medical school, so I want my doctors to tell me what they’d recommend if I was their wife or daughter. And that is exactly what I got.
Request an appointment at MD Anderson online or by calling 1-877-632-6789.