Take advantage of Edward's breast cancer support services. Read more.
From The Naperville Sun:
Cancer survivor's advice: Take advantage of support services
October 14, 2009
'If you're dealing with a cancer diagnosis, there's plenty of support out there for you, if you let it in," says Naperville resident and breast cancer survivor Dede Schwarz, 57.
"One of the 'angels' I had was my radiologist, Dr. (Darius) Gilvydis."
Carol Tufo of Naperville, with help from Jill Smallwood, is fitted for a wig at the Women's ReTREAT, held every fall at the Edward Cancer Center. Submitted by Edward Hospital
Usually faithful about getting her annual mammogram, Dede was six months late when she went in for her screening over the summer. She had gotten caught up in work demands, as well as helping her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. She ignored shooting pains she'd been having in her breast.
Details on her mammogram raised suspicion, so Dede was asked to obtain additional mammography images and an ultrasound. For this testing, Dede chose Edward Hospital, which offers digital mammography, technology that uses computers instead of film for viewing and storing images.
Dede's images were reviewed by Darius Gilvydis, M.D., of Naperville Radiologists, who studied at Yale University as a breast imaging specialist with advanced training in breast MRI and breast biopsies. Gilvydis told Schwarz she needed a biopsy, which involved removal of a small amount of tissue.
Gilvydis called with the unwelcome news that she had cancer. The good news, however, was that the cancer was Stage 1, meaning it hadn't spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of her body.
To gauge the scope of the tumor, Gilvydis administered an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which showed the cancer was limited to one small area. This meant Schwarz could safely opt for removal of the lump, rather than a mastectomy.
"When I learned I had cancer, I wasn't fearful," Schwarz said. "I was focused on what I needed to do to get well. Dr. Gilvydis showed so much kindness and empathy, even giving me his cell phone number to call any time. After consultation with my other physicians, I agreed to have the lump removed, followed by radiation. I felt confident that I could turn everything over to the surgeon, the oncologist, the nurses and radiology.
"I felt better as soon as I got rid of the tumor. There was some discomfort, but the stabbing pain was gone."
Schwarz will start six weeks of radiation therapy soon, and the outlook is promising. Her focus is on regrouping.
"It's time to get on with celebrating my life after cancer. That includes accepting support when it's offered. So many people have been great to me, especially family and friends," she said.
As part of her "celebration," Schwarz has signed up for the Edward Cancer Center's yoga and meditation classes and looks forward to trying other programs.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services