You Never Expect A Cancer Diagnosis
In 2011, Laura Coleman celebrated a special milestone in her life. In February, she donned her party hat, took a deep breath and smiled proudly as she reached her 40th birthday. Laura will cherish this birthday a little differently than others because it was just over a year ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Laura noticed a lump in her breast and made an appointment with her physician. When her physician ordered a mammogram, Laura came to Grant Medical Center. Due to an abnormal finding, she was scheduled for a biopsy the very next day. It was this biopsy that resulted in a diagnosis that Laura did not want to hear. On March 2, 2010, Laura received news that the large lump in her breast was stage II breast cancer. Laura immediately turned to her dad, daughter and best friend for support.
I Chose Clinical Trials To Benefit Future Cancer Patients
As a patient of Grant Medical Center, Laura also received a great amount of support from her care team. Laura’s case was presented to a multidisciplinary conference of specialists to maximize her treatment options. As a result of this collaboration, Shakir Sarwar, MD, her medical oncologist, offered Laura the option to participate in a clinical trial. This is when Laura was introduced to Patti Dunn, RN, clinical research nurse. Laura states, “Patti has really helped me walk through my treatment step by step. I am honored to be able to help with future medications. Where would I be if other women would not have done studies?” Due to programs like this, not only is Laura receiving cutting-edge care, but future cancer patients will benefit as well. “I feel as though I am receiving the best treatment in the country."
Once she completed her neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, she met with her surgeon, Mark Cripe, DO. At this point, Laura was connected with a breast health nurse, Susan Bunevich, RN, and patient advocate, Jamie Harness. Susan introduced Laura to a breast health support group and yoga. In addition, Jamie enrolled Laura in a fitness program called Health Track.
I'm Proud to Celebrate Being a Cancer Survivor
In October 2010, Laura was invited to attend an OhioHealth sponsored hockey event with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Cancer survivors of all types throughout central Ohio came to honor those whose lives are and have been impacted by cancer. According to Laura, “I was blessed with tickets to a Blue Jackets game. I was able to take my sister Angel who has been by my side at almost every treatment, and a very close friend, Lori, who has supported me and prayed for me. That night was cancer night and I was honored to walk out on the ice and form the human ribbon representing the breast cancer fight! What a wonderful time.”
The experiences Laura has had at Grant Medical Center and with each member of her care team have given her more confidence in her treatment plan. Laura remains a patient at Grant Medical Center and is seeing Connie Bauer, MD, for her radiation treatments. She also remains a clinical trial patient. She continues to participate in the support group and exercises as much as she can. “I feel as though I am receiving the best treatment in the country. Everyone is very professional. My family and friends are going through this with me and they also are proud of how well my whole treatment team is taking care of me! I am grateful.” Laura remains positive about life and has fun. So this year when she turned 40, she did not only celebrate her birthday — she celebrated being a survivor.