Finding Courage in the Face of Cancer
Living life to the fullest at the start of a new year, 47-year-old Stacey Reed was not prepared to hear the words “breast cancer.” After a routine mammogram in January, 2013 revealed a breast-tissue abnormality, her immediate assumption was that it was nothing more than a cyst. “I had often heard other women talk about benign irregularities showing up on mammograms and how they were fairly common occurrences, so I just assumed, okay it’s my turn.”
When an ultrasound and biopsy confirmed a breast cancer diagnosis, both Stacey and her family were shocked. Though frightened by the news, Stacey had a strong support system that rallied around her including her husband of 25 years, her two children, and wonderful group of longtime friends. “My husband was my rock during this time,” Stacey said. Stacey was also confident in the care that was available so close to her, home. The Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital provided Stacey convenient access to world-leading care.
South Shore Hospital surgeon, Dr. Suniti Nimbkar, and oncologist Dr. Meredith Faggen created a comprehensive treatment plan for Stacey, including surgery and chemotherapy, based on her individual needs. The treatment plans offered at the Cancer Center include genetic counseling and evaluation for patients who have a personal or family history that suggests an inherited risk of or tendency to develop breast cancer. Stacey tested positive for a BRCA2 gene mutation, which increases a person’s lifetime risk of also developing ovarian cancer.
The Cancer Center’s proximity to Stacey’s home in Halifax significantly reduced the time that she and her husband spent driving to and from weeks of chemotherapy treatments. “Knowing that I could receive the best care right in Weymouth relieved so much stress. It helped me remain positive and focused on treatment,” Stacey said. In addition to world-class treatments, we offer resources such as social workers, nutritionists, integrative therapies and support groups. Stacey took advantage of meeting with a nutritionist, which was conveniently scheduled during her chemotherapy treatments.
Now cancer-free, Stacey feels strong and healthy. She believes that the warmth and compassion of her care team helped her to successfully navigate her care. “The care I’ve received at the Cancer Center has been amazing,” Stacey said. “Dr. Nimbkar’s words of comfort will always stand out to me.”
The specialized care available at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital provides patients like Stacey with local access to world-leading cancer care, including clinical trials.