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Lizbeth Brunswick - Patient Story

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"The nurses at Fox Chase were fantastic and extremely compassionate."

— Lizbeth Brunswick

 

Beth speaking at the 2016 Laurel Society celebration Beth speaking at the 2016 Laurel Society celebration Cancer was definitely not on my radar when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014. I was almost 60 years old and had never been in the hospital, and rarely ever even got sick. I was busy working, fly fishing, and enjoying life with my husband of 23 years.

My husband and I were relaxing in Florida in February that year when I realized that my stomach was distended and felt hard to the touch. I had never been pregnant and thought this must be what it feels like. Even though I had no other symptoms, I decided it would be a good idea to see my primary care physician in Florida, who ordered a CAT scan. The following day I learned I had cancer. To say I was shocked is an understatement.

I immediately called my gynecologist in Cherry Hill, NJ, who recommended that I meet with Dr. Stephen C. Rubin, chief of gynecologic oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center. I flew to New Jersey the following week and met with Dr. Rubin, and I brought along with me my husband, father, and sister.

Dr. Rubin is incredibly reassuring and calm, which was what I needed most. Even though I live a bit out of the way in New York City, I knew I was in the best hands at Fox Chase, and I wouldn’t have considered going anywhere else. My mother had been treated for pancreatic cancer at Fox Chase years earlier. Although she did not survive that illness, she was treated with dignity and respect throughout her treatment.  

After Dr. Rubin described my treatment plan, I knew I wanted him to guide me on this journey. My treatment started with surgery to remove the tumor, which had spread to the omentum in my stomach, followed by a three-night stay at Fox Chase to begin my recovery. In addition to the doctors, the nurses at Fox Chase were fantastic and extremely compassionate. During my recovery period after surgery, my husband had to undergo spinal surgery in New York City. It was a tough time for both of us.

By April that year, I had started on an 18-week course of chemotherapy. During treatment, I managed to continue my work life in New York, where I work on private designer sales and coordinate wardrobes for my clients. It is a job I absolutely love.

In October 2016, I spoke at the Fox Chase Cancer Center Laurel Society event at The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts. I described not only my experience with cancer treatment at Fox Chase but also my belief in the importance of philanthropy to support cancer research. The morning after my presentation, I started another round of chemotherapy.

I have confidence in Dr. Rubin’s ability to treat me and know that where you start your treatment really does make a difference. I know I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for everyone at Fox Chase. I believe that by giving back, we give others the chance to beat this disease. Without research there is no cure.

Lorraine and Benjamin Alexander and Mary Wolf with Beth Brunswick (second from right) at the Laurel Society celebration, October 20, 2016.Lorraine and Benjamin Alexander and Mary Wolf with Beth Brunswick (second from right) at the Laurel Society celebration, October 20, 2016.

 

 

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