Jenny Haverly of Anamosa had her first mammogram in September 2016. The screening revealed a suspicious area on her right side. It was Stage 1 invasive lobular breast cancer.
“Receiving that diagnosis was devastating. It stops you in your tracks, drops you to your knees and takes your breath away,” Jenny said.
Jenny chose the MedQuarter for cancer care. She was treated at the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center and the Women’s Breast and Bone Center, located in the PCI Medical Pavilion.
It was an easy decision.
As a NICU and pediatrics nurse for 19 years at St. Luke’s Hospital, Jenny knew firsthand the quality of care that the MedQ has to offer. She already knew many of the doctors on her cancer care team, and her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years before, had also chosen the MedQ for her care.
“I consider myself very knowledgeable about the healthcare world and about the path that breast cancer patients take since my mom had just been through it, and it was still all very overwhelming to me,” Jenny said.
All the Care Jenny Needed
The compassion of Jenny’s healthcare team in the MedQ was key to working through it. “From the minute you walk in they know what you’re going through, they know how to help you, and they know how to start from the beginning and take you through the process,” she said.
In October 2016, Jenny had a bilateral mastectomy, followed by four rounds of chemo – which were briefly delayed by a bout of pneumonia. She also had a body device that would inject her regularly with medicine to keep up her white blood cell count.
“I need to give a shoutout to Amy, one of the Infusion nurses at the Cancer Center. She was there for each of my IV doses of chemo. We got along well, and I felt very comforted by her presence each time I had to have chemo,” Jenny said.
Jenny said all the staff acted as an additional support system that “was crucial for my peace of mind.”
“The staff all deal with a very difficult aspect of life, dealing with cancer patients, day in and day out, and they handled it well. When I needed silence, they let me have silence. When I needed a laugh, they provided it. When I needed comfort, they were there,” Jenny said.
Throughout each week, Jenny had multiple appointments — surgeon, oncologist, lab. She appreciated that her treatment center was close to work and home and that all of her care specialists and services were located in one building.
Though Jenny and her mom, Jan, each had different forms of breast cancer, they wanted to know whether they carried the breast cancer gene. With two sons and a daughter, Jenny worried her children may be at risk.
So she decided to do genetic testing at PCI. “The peace of mind we were able to get from the genetic testing was wonderful,” Jenny said.
Today Jenny is doing well, with no evidence of disease. Her words of encouragement for other cancer patients? Trust your healthcare team.
“Take it one day at a time. Listen to the healthcare team; they know what they’re doing. They know how to help you. Everything is all right there — everything you need to get through your journey is all right there.”