"I am a true believer that checking in on the emotional needs of a patient helps in their healing"
Mary Solka hates being a patient.
Solka, a 28-year-old Plainfield resident, received chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma from August through November. Twice a week, she visited the Edward Plainfield Cancer Center for treatment.
|Mary Solka with husband Bill
and 3-year old daughter Charlotte.
Mary's daughter Karsen, 6 months
old, who she was pregnant with
when diagnosed, was napping.
But she said Edward truly is a place for people who don't like hospitals.
"When I'm at the cancer center, it doesn't feel like a hospital," she wrote in her patient diary. "It is a warm, calm and non-threatening environment. Having cancer is scary - at least the treatment areas and staff aren't."
Preparation helped her feel less scared. Before treatment began, her health care team discussed what to expect from chemotherapy, her schedule and possible side effects.
"Amy Phalen, Dr. (Alexander) Hantel, Sue Budds and Kim Rohan provided my family and I with a comprehensive overview of the treatment plan and expectations prior to starting chemo, which helps put my mind at ease," she wrote. (Visit our web site to meet the team.)
During treatment, Solka got to know several of the nurses, who always asked how she was feeling and how her family was doing.
"Brooke (Crumly) was my nurse and as usual, she was fantastic," Solka wrote after a Nov. 12 chemo treatment. "She is a very upbeat person, and I think her spirits are contagious."
Friendly lab technicians made blood draws go quickly. And on one visit, a social worker gave her warm winter hats to choose from.
She said the cancer center exceeded all of her expectations.
"I originally felt that my basic needs would be met, but that is no longer the case," Solka wrote. "Perhaps the cancer center works a bit differently, but they address all issues and focus not just on the medical concerns; they focus on the whole person. I am a true believer that checking in on the emotional needs of a patient helps in their healing, and that is exactly what the cancer center staff does."
Learn more about and tour the Edward Cancer Center at edward.org/cancer.