|Story of a breast cancer survivor|
|Thursday, 02 August 2012 17:13|
A beautiful woman, wife, mother, (soon to be grandmother), a talented piano teacher, a wonderful friend and now a breast cancer survivor.
Wendy and Bob Hayward have been married for 38 years and are the proud parents of three sons and are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first granddaughter. Little did Wendy know that her visit to the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre one Sunday would change the lives of her family, friends, students and her life.
Her story is similar to thousands of women throughout the world, and she shares it now with everyone in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Wendy noted that her physician, Dr. Dawn O’Sullivan, always kept in contact with her and followed her testing every step of the way. After the mammogram and ultrasound were complete, she then had to have a biopsy performed by Dr. Christopher Valentine.
In less than a week, Wendy’s test results came in. She could not believe it at first and began to ask herself questions such as “Why me?” and “Where do I go from here?”
After hospital professionals explained the medical steps and procedures to her, she knew it was time to involve her family in her new battle.
Wendy’s husband, Bob, said he was shocked at the news, “I was scared! It was the last thing I expected to happen.”
Both Bob and Wendy were relieved that the cancer was detected early and could be treated.
Wendy said that this ordeal helped her realize the power of prayer and how important it was to have support from her husband, her extended family in the Turks and Caicos Islands and from friends throughout the region.
“It has been an education for both of us. It is not something you think about unless someone close to you is affected.”
Wendy said the support of genuine friends is of the utmost importance. One couple whom she has known for years proved their friendship when they got the news.
“Our long time friends Jerry and Annie Giarla called and expressed their concern, and Annie inquired as to how long I would be in hospital. She flew to TCI and was here waiting for me when I was discharged, just knowing she was here made the difference”
Wendy said her friend’s visit helped her to take her mind off what she was going through, “Especially because I have no immediate family other than my husband Bob here in TCI”.
Due to minor equipment problems, Wendy had to travel to Nassau, Bahamas, for an echocardiogram, but assures residents that her experience was pleasant and that she is very grateful to be covered by National Health Insurance Program. She encourages all people who are not currently under the plan to get covered.
“NHIP made all of the arrangements for me to travel and to have the necessary tests and arranged my stay at the cancer centre in Nassau. I was met at the airport by the driver from the cancer centre who made sure I had all the information I needed.”
As retirees in Canada, Bob explained how much harder their path would be without NHIP.
“Canadian medical benefits would not have happened this quick for us. We would have had to be living in Canada for at least three months in order to utilize the health care. Then it would have taken weeks, sometimes months, to get an appointment with the specialist. Time is of the utmost importance when dealing with cancer.”
Bob and Wendy were pleased about the facilities at Cheshire Hall, noting that what he saw at the facility tops all facilities he has been in throughout Canada and the United States.
Wendy is now set for her future treatment that will help her battle this disease. Treatments include chemotherapy and possible radiation treatments. She is staying positive and had faith in her physicians at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre.
Breast cancer forms in the cells of the breasts and has numerous types, but the most common breast cancer begins in the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma). After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, with one out of every eight women likely to develop some form of breast cancer throughout their lives.
Breast cancer survival rates have increased, but the number of deaths has declined thanks to various factors, such as early detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease.
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