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    Nurse Navigator helps breast cancer patient with unusual time requirements receive services needed

    In late January, Theresa and Christopher Enk had one thing on their minds. Their daughter Victoria was scheduled to undergo a major back surgery at Children’s Hospital in Boston on February 7 and the family was busy with plans for the trip and the nearly two week stay in the city following the operation. Although there is never a good time to find a lump in your breast, for Theresa this was a horrible time.
    Because she has had problems with breast fibroadenomas (common non-cancerous breast tumors), Theresa routinely performs self breast exams. On this particular day in late January, she felt a new lump in her upper right breast. Although she tried to convince herself that it was nothing, just another fibroadenoma, something just didn’t feel right to her. She made an appointment right away to see her gynecologist Dr. Ankur Desai of Mohawk Valley Women’s Health Associates.
    After an examination, Dr. Desai felt that diagnostic imaging was needed to determine exactly what the new lump in Theresa’s breast was. But Theresa had to be in Boston in a week and she was unable to get an appointment for the imaging near her home in Utica before she left. Dr. Desai suggested the Women’s Imaging Center at Rome Memorial Hospital. One call later, Theresa was scheduled for a 3D mammogram the next day.
    “I had never been to the Women’s Imaging Center before but from the moment I walked in everyone just made me feel so comfortable,” Theresa said. “There is such a friendly, welcoming feeling here.”
    Designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Women’s Imaging Center at Rome Memorial Hospital received this prestigious achievement by earning ACR accreditation in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, and breast ultrasound (including ultrasound-guided breast biopsy) and breast MRI. This designation validates the hospital’s commitment to the highest quality standards in imaging.
    After her mammogram, Theresa needed additional ultrasound imaging which she was able to have that same day. When the ultrasound technologist came back into the room and told Theresa that radiologist Dr. John Restivo wanted to talk to her, she had a feeling that it was not good.
    “My heart just dropped,” Theresa said. “Walking down that hallway with the ultrasound technologist was like a 100 mile walk, but when they opened the door Linda was standing there smiling and she instantly made me feel better.”
    Linda Lyon, RN, CN-BN, is the nurse navigator for the Women’s Imaging Center. Linda is an advocate for patients who are facing a possible breast cancer diagnosis, assisting them in coordinating their procedures and treatments and offering her extensive knowledge and advice to ease their anxiety. Linda was right there with Theresa as Dr. Restivo explained that she would need a biopsy.
    “When they understood my time crunch, Dr. Restivo and Linda were able to schedule the procedure within the week,” Theresa said. “At the Women’s Imaging Center, I was able to have my mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy and find out the results all within one week.”
    Unfortunately, the results were not good. This time the lump in Theresa’s breast was cancer and she would need surgery. But she had to push planning her own surgery to the back of her mind while she focused her attention on her daughter.
    “When we got to Boston, we realized that Children’s Hospital is connected to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute by a walkway,” Theresa said. “During my daughter’s 13 hour surgery, my husband, who can never sit still, wandered over to Dana Farber and just started asking questions.”
    The Enks decided that Theresa would have her surgery at Dana Farber and were able to schedule it to coincide with Victoria’s post-op appointment. To be able to have the procedure in Boston required a lot of coordination with the Women’s Imaging Center.
    “Linda took care of everything,” Theresa said. “She got copies of everything I needed and we were able to get it sent to Boston. She was such a huge help.”
    Following her surgery, Theresa had chemotherapy and needed radiation therapy. Prior to the first radiation treatment, she had to have a CT scan which revealed another area that needed further diagnostic testing.
    “When they told me they wanted me to have this new abnormality biopsied, I knew exactly where I wanted it done,” Theresa said. “I called Linda right away.”
    Once again Dr. Restivo performed the biopsy but this time the results were good news. This was not another cancer, just another fibroadenoma.
    Theresa said she just cannot say enough about the professional and caring staff at the Women’s Imaging Center at Rome Memorial Hospital, especially her new friend, Linda Lyon.
    “I felt lost for a moment when I was first diagnosed, but Linda was right there for me and made a bad situation much easier to deal with,” Theresa said. “I will always come here from now on for my screenings and any other procedures I may need, and I’m telling everyone that if they don’t come here they don’t know what they are missing.”

    Linda Lyon 2017 testimonialTRUSTED ADVISOR – Linda Lyon, RN CN-BN, nurse navigator at The Women’s Imaging Center at Rome Memorial Hospital, listens to breast cancer patient Theresa Enk. Linda is available to assist patients in any way she can as they deal with their cancer diagnosis, even if it’s just being there to listen