Normal Mammogram then BAM! Cancer

Tammy Wood was dutiful about her yearly mammograms, so it was no surprise when her April exam came back normal as usual. But three months later she found a significant lump in her breast. The diagnosis: stage 3 cancer. TammyWood

Tammy was ready to take action immediately, but her local hospital told her she’d have to wait four weeks for a cancer consult. So Tammy called Aurora BayCare and met with her cancer team that same day.

“If it wasn’t for the team at Aurora BayCare, I don’t know if I would be here,” she says. “They literally saved my life. Had I waited four weeks, I can’t imagine where I would be.”

Ask Tammy about her experience, and she’s likely to start raving about Diane Haszel, her Cancer Nurse Navigator. Diane connected her to Aurora BayCare’s cancer specialists and provided support throughout treatment. 

“It’s not only the initial shock of hearing you have cancer, it’s ‘What do I do now?’” Tammy recalls. “Diane got back to me within minutes and coordinated all my appointments around my schedule. I never had the pain of trying to arrange my medical visits.”

Expert Cancer Care
Tammy’s care team included Dr. Cynthia Geocaris, breast surgeon; Dr. Nancy Davis, medical oncologist; and Dr. Elizabeth O’Connor, reconstructive breast surgeon.  Tammy offered specific praise for one of Dr. O’Connor’s nurses: “Kelly is wonderful. She really takes her time to get to know the patients as well.”

“They’re a wonderful team of women that know how to take care of a woman,” Tammy says. From initial meeting, to surgery and follow-up care, Tammy was impressed with her doctors’ expertise and professionalism. What’s more, she believes her medical team went above and beyond to reduce her stress and anxiety.

After consulting with Dr. Geocaris, Tammy opted for a double mastectomy followed by five months of chemotherapy. Today, she takes tamoxifen to reduce the risk of recurrence elsewhere in her body.

“It can happen so fast I was healthy and then BAM! cancer,” Tammy says. “I’ve told anyone who will listen. Get your breasts checked regularly and if you ever have anything serious wrong with you, go to Aurora BayCare.”

Tammy isn’t the first in her family to have life-saving treatment at Aurora BayCare. Her sister Susie had a brain tumor removed at ABMC. “My whole family, we can’t say enough about Aurora BayCare!”

 Learn more about Aurora BayCare’s Cancer Care services.