12 DAYS OF GIVING
GRATEFUL PATIENT SPOTLIGHT
Eva Vezsenyi is a Grateful Patient…
Dealing with a diagnosis of breast cancer, not once, but twice, leads a patient along a path of emotional ups and downs. Having a team of compassionate healthcare professionals and a support system that includes others in a similar situation can help make the cancer journey more comfortable.
Eva Vezsenyi is grateful for the care and support she has received as a patient in the Brant Community Cancer Clinic at the Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS).
Eva’s first breast cancer diagnosis was in 2010 and she had her surgery at the BCHS site under the care of Dr. Denise Schnider, followed by chemotherapy and radiation.
In January 2016, Eva’s cancer returned to her second breast. The small lump was discovered during her regular mammogram.
The Mammography Department at the Brant Community Healthcare System is an Ontario Breast Screening Program site that ensures high-quality mammography services and meets Canadian standards for the early detection of small, invasive cancers.
Patients who visit the Digital Mammography area at the BCHS have been benefitting from state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment for more than four years, and the service and care continues to be leading edge with the addition of new upgrades to the digital system.
It was thanks to this upgraded diagnostic equipment that Eva’s lumps were detected.
“I never felt it, so that speaks to the importance of mammograms,” she said.
This time the cancer had spread into Eva’s lymph nodes as well, so Dr. Schnider consulted with Eva and determined that a lumpectomy and removal of her lymph nodes was required. Eva was given options to consider for follow-up treatment, and chose to receive her care at the Brant Community Cancer Clinic which is closer to her Wilsonville home. A CT imaging scan and bone scan showed Eva’s cancer had metastasized to her bones and lymph nodes, so she requires regular treatments to keep it at bay.
“My treatments are ongoing… for the rest of my life,” she said.
Last year, the Brant Community Cancer Clinic (BCCC) treated more than 3,000 patients from the area.
Before she began her chemotherapy at the Cancer Clinic, Eva explained that she couldn’t walk without having pain, so she began using a walker to assist her. After chemotherapy began, the lymph node in her groin shrunk enough to allow her to walk again without pain.
Eva was treated by Oncologist Dr. Lee and she soon began to relax in the reassuring atmosphere created by Dr. Lee and staff in the Cancer Clinic.
“You don’t call him Dr. Lee, you call him Bryan,” said Eva. “He’s very thorough and you can ask him anything and he’ll explain it to you.”
“The staff encourage you to live your life as if you don’t have cancer,” she said. So Eva’s twice-a-month visits for treatment are built in to her regular routine now. She arrives for treatment two Wednesdays in a row for about an hour, then has the following two Wednesdays off.
“I don’t want this thing hanging over my head,” she said, pointing out that this journey hasn’t been without its rough patches.
The stress of learning that the cancer had metastasized caused Eva to develop Bell’s Palsy, a condition that involves paralysis of a facial nerve and muscle weakness on one side of Eva’s face. At the time, her husband Chuck thought she was having a stroke and took her to the BCHS where staff determined the problem. Eva is recovering from Bell’s Palsy, but it’s a long road as well.
Eva shares that the care is wonderful at the BCHS.
“I would describe it as family,” she said. “The staff and patients, we all get to know each other, and sometimes we get a party going down there. You get talking and find someone who knows someone you know, and that bonds you. Nobody’s saying, ‘Oh, woe is me.’”
“This is life. We do the best we can and we appreciate every day.”
As Eva has learned first-hand, when crisis or illness impacts you or a loved one, the Brant Community Healthcare System is here to offer you exceptional healthcare in your time of need.
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