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Words from Our Patients

Not Giving in to Cancer

Sister Mary, Breast Cancer Patient

When a routine mammogram led to a cancer diagnosis, Sister Mary began focusing her days on two goals: to get treatment and to continue serving the children and families who count on her as principal of a preK-8 school in Philadelphia.

“I never felt that this diagnosis was a death sentence, and I was able to be in school almost every day during my treatment,” she explains. “That is largely due to the great care I received from all my Einstein team.”

Every step of Sister Mary’s cancer journey brought her in contact with people who truly cared about her, her health and her welfare. “I had an appointment with Dr. Lisa Jablon, my surgeon, just two days after diagnosis, and surgery less than two weeks after that,” she says. “Fast treatment and thorough and straightforward explanations really put me at ease.”

After surgery, Sister Mary’s care plan called for chemotherapy and radiation. “Einstein’s facilities are large and state-of-the-art, so you know you’re getting the best treatment. But I never felt like a number,” she says.

Throughout her entire treatment journey, Sister Mary was guided by Rochelle Millhouse, patient navigator in Einstein’s breast health program.

“Rochelle was so helpful in providing resources and was very good at anticipating my needs and my concerns,” says Sister Mary. “If I had any questions, I could call her anytime, and if she didn’t know the answer, she would find out for me and get back to me right away.”

She says the treatment center nurses and staff also helped to create a positive environment conducive to deep healing.

Additionally, because it is in her nature, Sister Mary interacted with as many of her fellow patients as possible during her treatment.

“I would go around and say hello to the other patients and met some of the most wonderful people. You could feel people rallying around each other,” she says. “I don’t think I ever left my treatment without a smile.”

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