Jeannine's Story - Breast Cancer
Twenty-six-year-old Jeannine Donahue was enjoying the life of a successful young professional when she noticed some upsetting signs and symptoms. In addition to sharp, shooting pains in her left breast, there was a faint pink rash near the nipple. Her OB/GYN was not concerned; after all, Jeannine was so young... it was most likely an infected milk gland. He sent her home with a prescription for antibiotics.
"Everyone knew who I was and called me by name, even if I didn't know who they were at first."
- Jeannine Donahue
That evening, for some "inexplicable reason," Jeannine felt under her armpit and found a lump. A breast surgeon did another exam only to find another lump near the rash. "He did a biopsy to be cautious, but told me not to worry because I was so young," recalls Jeannine. "Six days later, I received a call at work with the news that I had breast cancer."
EINSTEIN: THE RIGHT PLACE
Through a referral from a friend at work, Jeannine made an appointment to see Robert Somers, MD, at Einstein. "After seeing Dr. Somers, I didn't feel the need to get a second opinion," says Jeannine. "I felt very comfortable and knew that everyone at Einstein had my best interests at heart. My parents agreed that Einstein was the best place for me to receive treatment."
HIGH QUALITY, PERSONALIZED CARE AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
Undergoing cancer treatment is extremely stressful for anyone, particularly a young adult like Jeannine. However, throughout her treatment at Center One, she felt well supported and cared for. "Denise, the head nurse, really helped me to relax. Everyone knew who I was and called me by name, even if I didn't know who they were at first."
BACK IN ACTION AND HELPING OTHERS
That was in 2006. Today, Jeannine is back at work and a volunteer for the Young Survivor's Coalition where she enjoys reaching out to women who, like her, were once thought to be too young to get breast cancer. "Dr. Desai, Dr. Somers and the chemotherapy nurses are the reasons I work as a volunteer," she says. "Being an advocate is my way of saying 'thank you.' I'd like to thank them for smiling at me, even when I didn't smile back and for making me feel like a person, not a patient. In my eyes, all of them are angels and will forever hold a place in my heart."