I can’t think of anything more agonizing than waiting for mammogram or MRI results every six months. Faced with the fact that you know without a doubt that breast cancer kills is enough to drain all of your life’s energy by worrying about it.
I had to make a decision. The decision had to take into consideration everything and everyone that was a part of my life. The choice had to be what was best for me and my family. It was extremely important to make sure the decision I made was an informed decision.
Chemotherapy was offered, but ruled out. I wanted the best chances for a long life – Nothing is guaranteed but I knew there were more options and I considered each one. I did extensive research on types Mastectomies, the different procedures and the prognosis for recovery. Armed with this information I started my search for the doctor with the best medical credentials. I wanted my Mastectomy procedure to go perfectly.
I started meeting with local doctors. The doctor and how he responded to me, my needs, questions and concerns was very important to me. I did not want to feel like I was just another case; I wanted the doctor to understand me, answer my questions and offer me choices. After appointments with a few of the local doctors that were qualified to perform the surgery, I didn’t feel I had found the right doctor.
Finally, I traveled to Charleston to meet Dr. Patrick O’Neill. Dr. O’Neill’s website had a picture of him, I was surprised because I saw few websites that included pictures of the doctor. I immediately noticed that the office was nicely furnished, and most impressive was the staff – energetic and happy. After meeting with him and his nurse assistant, I was sold – I knew I would not allow anyone else do my Mastectomy! In my opinion a very important component to choosing my doctor was that he cared about his patients and his office staff. Dr. O’Neil’s staff obviously adored him! I even asked – their response was not a surprise to me because after meeting with him, it was obvious that he took care of his staff. Rule of thumb, if you don’t treat your staff well, they won’t treat your patients well. I felt safe and confident that he was going to perform my Mastectomy. I knew I was in capable hands; his manner showed that he has an amazing bedside manner which is important for recovery. A surgeon should be engaged in his work and care about his patients.
Not only did I find a skilled and dedicated doctor, I found a lifelong friend to me.
Thank YOU so much for being YOU and doing what YOU do BEST!
I feel pretty, I feel ALIVE!