Doreen Benedict - Patient Story

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"We had heard great things about Fox Chase and all they do is specialize in cancer."

— Doreen Benedict, Breast Patient

My husband and I were planning to visit family and friends in England in March 2008 when I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at age 68. My husband had just retired, and we recently had been blessed with a great-granddaughter. It was a year that we had thought would be filled with positive milestones for the 2 of us.

Our travel plans had to change when my routine mammogram at the end of February detected the aggressive cancer. Although there were regional hospitals closer to our home, we decided that I should be treated at Fox Chase even though it was an hour away.

I was comforted by the team of doctors who reviewed my case. Dr. Richard Bleicher, a breast surgeon, was the team leader, and other people on my team were radiation oncologist Dr. Penny Anderson and 2 fellows. Dr. Bleicher always made me feel comfortable and well taken care of, and he shared the treatment recommendation in a way that was understandable, thorough, and comforting.

Because I had advanced disease, aggressive treatment was needed. In early March, Dr. Bleicher performed a lumpectomy on my left breast and removed 3 lymph nodes. By April, I had started a course of chemotherapy that was administered over a 5-hour period every 3 weeks for 5 months. I had several side effects from the chemotherapy, including hair loss and fatigue. After the course of chemotherapy, I received daily radiation treatment for 7 weeks, and I continued taking the anticancer drug trastuzumab.

It took me a while to recover from those treatments, but I knew it was needed to ensure the cancer was eradicated. Gradually, I started to feel like my old self again. I still see my team of doctors for check-ups. I really cannot say enough about my group of doctors at Fox Chase. Everybody at Fox Chase is warm, concerned, caring, and supportive.

I am so thankful for my husband, who encouraged me to seek treatment at Fox Chase and made sure that I got to every appointment. After all of my treatments, my 4 children pulled together to give us our dream trip to Bermuda, a place we had always wanted to visit. Raising a large family had left little time for a vacation like that, but now finally our dream was coming true.

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