Donna enjoys the simple things in life: antiquing, berry picking, making pies and cookies from scratch, and venturing to the hardware store. Family and friends mean the world to her. She has a wonderful husband to whom she’s been married to for 28 years. Together, they have an outstanding son and an adorable cat. While you would never know it from the way she talks, Donna is deaf.
A lump was found in her breast at her annual exam last November. Donna was scared. Her primary care physician sent her to have a mammogram and ultrasound and provided a referral to Dr. Feucht.
With a biopsy scheduled for the week after the holidays, results took until after the New Year to come back. It was a nerve racking week waiting and when the news finally came it wasn’t good. The doctor’s words were, "I'm sorry. You have cancer." But Donna didn't understand him. She looked to her husband and he said those unthinkable words again, "You have cancer."
Donna cried; she felt two emotions: fear and blessed. Fear for what the future would bring and blessed to know she could count on the support from her loving family and friends throughout this journey. Donna told everyone, “Cancer is NOT WELCOME in my life and I’m gonna kick it’s a**!” Her husband felt helpless. Her son was in shock, he didn’t know how to react to seeing the strongest person in his life have to go through this, and watching his Dad cry. Her son was the one to shave her head; to show support for his mother, he and his roommate shaved their heads too.
Donna setup an appointment for the mastectomy and asked if there were any support groups. That’s how she met Donna Banks, the Breast Cancer Coordinator at Good Samaritan. Banks contacted Donna before her mastectomy, providing warm, compassionate care. Banks told Donna she was there to support her with any and all questions or concerns and assured her there was no such thing as a weird or dumb question. Banks job was to be there for Donna through the whole journey, and she was true on her word. Banks was right by Donna’s side the morning of her mastectomy, with comfort and a post surgical camisole. Afterwards, Banks wrote a prescription for breast prosthesis. Banks arranged for a sign language interpreter to be present at the support classes.
In addition to the services Banks provides, when Donna’s hair fell out, the Cancer Resource Center came to her rescue with a free sleeping cap to keep her head warm at night. Donna is looking forward to picking out a free wig at the Resource Center that is the perfect color and hairstyle.
Donnas’ advice to others on this breast cancer journey is “Early detection is the key to saving your life. If something about your breasts doesn’t look right or feel right, go see your Doctor immediately!” She explains, “You are in good hands at Good Sam. They will take care of you, give you a shoulder to cry on, a hug and guide you so you can find your way. They are just the nicest people I have ever met.”