Patient Stories

My Close Call

September 18, 2009


My Close Call

I feel lucky being healthy for the 31 years of my life!  I am Sheri from Council Bluffs where I live with my husband, Trent. I like to live my life carefree, but soon realized that a carefree lifestyle can change in one doctor appointment.

I had felt a lump in my breast in October 2008 during a self breast exam. I ignored it and did nothing out of fear- until my annual appointment 4 months later. The lump had grown rapidly and it was significant in size. My OB/GYN scheduled me for an ultrasound the next day.

I was informed of the next steps of biopsy and surgery. My mind started to go into overload- I did not know what it all meant or if I was going to be okay. I needed someone to put all the pieces together for me.  I had heard about the Breast Health Center at Lakeside, so I picked up the phone and just called.  I was emotionally a mess when I was connected with Patti, a Nurse Practitioner.  She was so kind and scheduled me to see Dr.John Shook, the Breast Surgeon.  Patti said they would take care of me. I truly felt I was in good hands and I took a big sigh of relief.

After the biopsy, I was anxious to hear the diagnosis. The next day I got a call from Dr. Shook explaining that it was benign, but the lump would need to be removed.  He was so thorough and made sure I understood the next steps.  Since it was benign, I thought that there was no hurry to have the surgery. However, my husband and the Breast Health Center staff were persistent and made sure the surgery was done without delay.

Surgery day arrived and I was ready for it to be over.  My nurse Sue was quick to notice my uneasiness and she talked to me until my fears subsided.  Throughout the whole procedure, they kept in touch with my comfort and shared information about my care. Dr. Shook and the medical professionals worked well together and kept me in the loop, so that I too felt I was a part of the team.

More than a 4cm benign phyllodes tumor was removed from my right breast.  This type of tumor is very rare. If I would not have taken action, and gotten the support of the Breast Health Center – I could be fighting a bigger battle with breast cancer.

Health is not something I will gamble with again.  I was dealt a lucky hand of good health and I will let it ride!
— Sheri

One Comment
  1. Lora

    You're awesome--I'm glad you decided to share your story. I'm sure it will inspire others.

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