"I had fun with them, which was weird, considering the reason I was there."
Plainfield resident Lynnette Dattomo knew about the possible physical toll of cancer treatment - upset stomach, sleeplessness, hair loss.
Then there was the emotional toll - worry, fear, uncertainty.
|Lynnette Dattomo, with her dog Mater,
says doctors, nurses and staff at the
Edward Plainfield Cancer Center
helped her deal with the emotional
impact of breast cancer as well as
the physical side effects.
She found the people at Edward Plainfield Cancer Center treated both kinds of side effects.
Dattomo, 43, underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer every two weeks starting in October.
"To begin with, the Plainfield facility is very warm and inviting," she wrote in her patient diary. "It was designed, I believe, to make the patient feel at home, away from home. Secondly, the experience (of) all the staff, as well as their demeanors, makes it feel safe."
Dattomo noticed the little things made a big difference. For example, nurses who administered medicine checked her name and birth date before each dose. They also spoke with her as a person, not just a patient.
"I had fun with them, which was kind of weird, considering the reason I was there," she wrote.
The doctors, nurses and staff answered every question, including ones she and her husband had about family and medical leave.
"They know their cancer stuff!" she said.
In addition, she felt prepared for every procedure. Materials she needed were provided for her: descriptions of medications and side effects, nutritional information and mental health information for support groups. Dr. William Broderick, her oncologist, also provided answers to questions she had after reading the materials.
"Everything was explained thoroughly," she wrote.
And the staff always greeted her by name and asked how she felt. Often, she felt worried about "the whole cancer thing." While giving a shot that helps renew white blood cells, a nurse suggested ways to help Dattomo keep her mind off why she was there.
"The people here make it feel 'familiar' and 'safe' during a time when you feel neither," Dattomo said.
Tour the new Edward Plainfield Cancer Center online.