Barbara's Story - Lung Cancer
Nearly two years later, Barbara Jones can still recall the exact date of her cancer diagnosis. "I will never forget it," she says.
She had rushed to the hospital after waking up in the wee hours of the morning with an excruciating pain in her upper back. She couldn't catch her breath.
Fifteen minutes after entering the Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park emergency room Barbara received a diagnosis that took her by surprise: She had a cancerous mass on her lung.
"It was upsetting," she recalls, telling the doctor, "You're lying to me. This can't be." Barbara's anxiety was compounded by the fact that she had just lost her brother to lung cancer. He died in November and she was diagnosed in December, eleven days before her birthday.
Barbara was shocked by the original diagnosis because she had no other symptoms and she prides herself on leading a healthy lifestyle. Barbara sought a second opinion from her primary care physician, who is also at Einstein. He confirmed the diagnosis.
BARBARA RECEIVES EXPERT TREATMENT FROM A TEAM OF SPECIALISTS
Soon Barbara was under the care of a team of specialists at Einstein who worked together to develop her unique treatment plan. "There were three doctors working on me and they put it all together... They all filled me in on what they decided."
"I was treated like a human being, not just a patient. My Einstein team went out of their way to do things for me."
- Barbara Jones
She met with all of her doctors in a single meeting, each one providing details on their role in her care. "It went from A to Z. If it was medicine they explained to me, what it would do, what the after-effects would be, what I should do if I had any problems. They gave me facts and numbers, but also kept it simple, understandable. They gave me their home phone numbers and emails so I could get in touch if I needed anything."
COMPASSIONATE PERSONALIZED ATTENTION IS GIVEN TO ALL ASPECTS OF BARBARA'S CARE
Clear communication and compassionate care at Einstein meant a lot to Barbara as she battled her lung cancer. "I was treated like a human being, not just a patient. My Einstein team went out of their way to do things for me, they handled all appointment scheduling and paperwork processing. It got personal and I still have contact with them today."
EINSTEIN PRESCRIBES AGGRESSIVE TREATMENT TO BATTLE BARBARA'S CANCER
Barbara calls her treatment "my own clinical trial" because her specific care plan was so aggressive. Once doctors discovered her lung cancer had metastasized into her chest wall they prescribed the strongest doses of chemotherapy and radiation treatments allowable at the same time. "It just shows they were doing whatever they could to save me."
BARBARA APPROACHES HER LIFE AS A CANCER SURVIVOR WITH AN UPBEAT ATTITUDE
Barbara faced cancer with a strong spirit and now tells others, "The best way to handle something is to stay positive and have faith, especially in the program at Einstein. Put that right foot forward and don't step back."