This is the second post in a four-part blog series. Stacy Costa is a breast cancer survivor who was treated at Community Regional Cancer Care Center. One year into survivorship, she credits Dr. Robert Goulet and her breast cancer team for her survival.
Community Cancer Care provides breast health navigators to patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast health navigators are available to answer questions concerning breast health, provide education and support, coordinate care as needed, and prepare breast cancer patients for survivors
“I had three nurse navigators, Natalie, Sharlee and Tracy,” said Costa. “I think I’ll be seeing Dr. Goulet, Dr. Walling and the wonderful ladies of my breast care team on and off for the rest of my life.”
Breast health navigators provide continuity for patients and their families throughout their healthcare experience, during what can be a very stressful time in a woman’s life.
“Natalie calmed me down when I first learned of my diagnosis and had so many decisions to make,” said Costa. “I had a lot of questions and concerns. She tackled each one and we got answers together. It didn’t matter how crazy the question was, she delivered the answers in ways that I could manage them.”
Breast health navigators also provide assistance with appointments, surgery preparations and at treatments.
“Sharlee was with me when the port was put in and then as I went into surgery” Costa recalled. “She told me she hoped I didn’t mind because she had something for me that her church put together: a hat, tums (for my upset tummy) and a prayer card. I was so amazed that she was thinking of me outside of work.”
“Tracy was with me every week during chemo. Sometimes she would just hang out with me and we’d talk,” said Costa. “She was always there to keep an eye on me."
Community breast health navigators are not only a part of the cancer battle, but the journey to survivorship as well.
"The nurse navigators are so patient and so sympathetic," said Costa. "They are incredible in what they do.”
When asked about her oncologist, Stacy said that it was not so much what Dr. Goulet said to her, as much as how he said it and the actions that accompanied that.
“Right before breast surgery, he was with me talking about random stuff and asked me if he could hold my hand,” she said. “He asked me if I could be any place besides here where would I be and I remember saying ‘Disney World’."
"I've had other surgeries and I've never had a surgeon be with me before the surgery (nurses, yes) but not the surgeon," said Costa. “That was memorable.”
Cancer care at Community
Visit eCommunity.com/cancercare to learn more about breast health navigators and members of our cancer care teams.