Breast Cancer: ‘There’s A Light’

April Stangel admits she can be one of those, “If you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask the question” kind of people. That’s why she waited a month to see a doctor about a lump in her breast. Fortunately, Aurora BayCare was ready to jump the moment she came in. April saw her ob/gyn, had a mammogram, got an ultrasound, and then a biopsy, all in a day. “They got me in one after the other,” she recalls. “They said they don’t like to make people wait and worry.”

The next afternoon, April got that bad news she hadn’t wanted to hear. She had breast cancer. But soon after that news arrived, April got another call, this time from Cancer Nurse Navigator Diane Haszel.

“You’re feeling overwhelmed with the diagnosis, and then she calls and says, ‘Here’s what we’re going to schedule. I’ll take care of all your appointments and I’ll be here if you have any questions,’” April said. “It’s really nice.”

Team Effort in the MDCC

As a patient of the Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic at Aurora BayCare, April’s cancer specialists took a team approach. Her surgeon, oncologist, radiologist, and geneticist all met to discuss the case and strategize a treatment approach. Then April met with each specialist, one-on-one, to discuss their recommendations.

“I only had to be in one place. I didn’t have to go to each individual doctor,” says April. “They were all together, and they were all on the same page, so they were able to give me a lot of information so I could make an informed decision.”

April opted for a lumpectomy, followed by chemo and radiation. During treatment, her MDCC team met to discuss her progress and make any necessary adjustments.

April says her doctors gave her every confidence she’d be able to beat the disease. And beat it she did. She got the all clear in May 2016 and is still cancer free.

Looking Back with a Smile

April credits the Aurora BayCare team and her coworkers at CH Robinson with helping her stay upbeat and positive. Her teammates wore pink on every one of April’s chemo days and always sent her off with a token of their support.

Her advice for other women: “Stay positive through the treatment, even when you feel like crap. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Learn more about Aurora BayCare’s Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic.

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