Grateful Patient: Lisa Hooper, Brant Community Cancer Clinic

“Thanks to the BCHS, I’m a Breast Cancer survivor …”LisaHooper-edited

Having the right team helping you through a health crisis can make the journey that much easier.

That’s how Lisa Hooper feels about the Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS) after dealing with two diagnoses of breast cancer over the last few years.

Her first diagnosis in early 2011 left Lisa dumb-founded as she was swept into a wave of tests and a biopsy. Her surgeon, Dr. David Downie, explained everything in detail, mapping out the next steps in her treatment plan.

“All I knew was that I had cancer,” said Lisa, who had to call back the next day to have it all explained again when she was better prepared to absorb the information. “He was so patient. No question was too small,” she said. “He didn’t try to talk to me in medical language that I wouldn’t understand. He was very down to earth.”

Lisa and her treatment team proceeded with a lumpectomy followed by radiation and ongoing follow-up at the Brant Community Cancer Clinic at the BCHS.

“What struck me were the people,” said Lisa. “Really, it’s the health care providers at the BCHS that make the difference.”

Lisa resumed a schedule of regular mammograms and was coming to terms with the uncertainty of whether the cancer would return, when it did. During a self-exam in March 2014, Lisa found a lump in her right breast.

“I kind of thought — oh my gosh, here we go again.”

This time the cancer was different; it affected a larger area, and was in her lymph nodes. A mastectomy was considered, but thankfully it turned out a lumpectomy and more radiation were sufficient treatment.

When discussion turned to chemotherapy, the team had to carefully consider the options. Lisa was born with cerebral palsy and the concern became whether chemotherapy might intensify the complications she’s managed all her life.

Lisa’s tumour and surrounding tissue were sent for testing in the United States, where a program is available to determine the likelihood of a particular type of cancer to recur. Lisa’s case didn’t initially qualify for the testing, but she said she was given an exception because of the cerebral palsy. The results came back with a low risk determination.

“I was just blown away by how my BCHS medical team went to bat for me,” said Lisa. “Without that, we just would have been guessing and I may have unnecessarily had to go through chemo. That really meant the world to me.”

 Lisa is a BCHS Grateful Patient …

Lisa has completed her last round of radiation treatments and is now making follow-up visits to the Brant Community Cancer Clinic where she is grateful for the warmth and compassion of the BCHS staff.

“The whole experience is scary enough,” she said. “You want to make sure the people you’re going to interact with have that compassion – and a sense of humour doesn’t hurt either.”

Brant Community Cancer Clinic

In August 2011, the Brant Community Cancer Clinic, located at The Brantford General site of the BCHS, celebrated an expansion to our cancer care program. The expansion of our services included the addition of a full time Medical Oncologist (Dr. Bryan Lee), helping the BCHS to respond and serve the increase in cancer care patients in our community.     

Last year, the BCHS Cancer Clinic treated more than 3,000 patients from our area. Currently, cancer care at the BCHS provides a range of consult visits for patients and systemic therapy including chemotherapy for breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancers. We now offer consult visits and follow-up for radiation therapy patients.

Your involvement, through a donation of any size, will allow the BCHS Foundation to purchase patient equipment not funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provide essential resources to maintain the exceptional level of compassionate patient care, and invest in new and innovative technology.

The equipment supported by donor dollars isn’t all ‘nice to have’ — it is critical, much-needed medical equipment required to perform daily diagnostics and care for patients.

As Lisa knows, 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. Now is the time to make a difference, please consider making a gift TODAY that is meaningful to you, and support a strong healthcare system for our community.

To make a donation, click here or call 519-751-5510.

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