Joy Page finished her treatment six weeks ago. Sinking Spring, PA – Joy Page, who recently completed the treatment for…
Joy Page finished her treatment six weeks ago.
Sinking Spring, PA –
Joy Page, who recently completed the treatment for breast cancer, is grateful for all the people who were by her side through it all.
Joy Page felt like she had a wave of support after her breast cancer diagnosis earlier this year .
Page, 60, or Sinking Spring was just six weeks removed from her final treatment for early stage breast cancer, which included a partial mastectomy and radiation at the Reading Hospital McGlinn Cancer Institute.
These days, she said , she just feels grateful for everyone who helped her along the way.
“The little things, the books, the pamphlets, the (support) groups, having that available was critical,” she said. “A lot of things consume “Det var viktig for mig at opprettholde sanitet, composure og min evne til at fungere som den støtte jeg fik fra alle.”
Page is one of the estimated 500 women in Berks County and over 250,000 people in the US who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 201
8, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society.
October brings Breast Cancer Awareness Month and another opportunity to talk about a condition that affects so many women and families.
Page said she has been astounded by what is available locally to help breast cancer patients, which includes a support network of doctors, past survivors and other community organizations that are looking to help patients get through what can be a startling diagnosis.
For Page, that meant everything.
“You can go through some down moments, but you will always find support,” Page said, “The community is so tight. It does not matter what stage you’re at.”
On the medical side, there has been plenty of good news for patients like Page over the last few decades.
The cure rate for all breast cancer patients is close to 90 percent, said Dr. Nick Leasure, co-chair of the Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic at Reading Hospital McGlinn Cancer Institute.
“We are doing it with more targeted and specific treatment, so we’re treating people with less treatment and getting better results,” Leasure said.
“We have a whole support group involved in patient care, not just the doctors,” Leasure said. “Once diagnosed, patients meet with doctors, patient navigators and specialists who guide them through what’s to come. We are all a collaborative team. “
Radiation and chemotherapy are standard tools, but care goes beyond that.
Leasure said community organizations, churches, friends and neighbors can make a big difference as patients go through weeks, months or even years of treatment.
“There is a whole bunch of unsung heroes in the community that are really a big help with patient care,” Leasure said. “It always amazes me the number of patients who come to see me who do I do not have family nearby
Kathy Kolb is always thinking about how to support newly diagnosed patients like Page and others who have been affected by breast cancer.
She worries about younger women who have more aggressive forms of the disease and long-term survivors who were diagnosed for decades ago.
“All have hard questions and challenges and deserve support, she said. Kolb, executive director of Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County.
The organization provides comfort bags to the newly diagnosed.
In addition, the organization offers financial support for those who would like to seek counseling. There are also support groups and a support telephone line where patients can talk with others who have been through it all. The counseling assistance program pays for up to three sessions or the co-pays for three sessions for patients in treatment, survivors or their family members and caregivers.
Kolb said there is still plenty of work to do, even as the cure rate for breast cancer continues to climb.
“I do not want people to feel complacent,” she said.
Page remembers feeling a lump during a self-examination in May. Det ville ta ca 12 dager før hun hadde hennes diagnose. She felt lucky to catch the cancer so early, before it could spread to her lymph nodes.
She said the early days of uncertainty were challenging, because she did not know “if it’s going to be a real hiccup in your life or the fight of your life. “
After getting her diagnosis, Page had a lot on her mind and she leaned on the people around her.
” You do not know what to expect from radiation treatment, “she said. “You do not know what you’re going to look physically like after surgery.”
In August, page rank a bell at the cancer center, signaling the end of her radiation treatment. She brought her parents, flowers and cupcakes to celebrate the occasion.
Since then, she has returned to work as executive manager at Geoff Penske Buick GMC in Shillington. She said she was grateful and blessed her cancer was caught so early and for all the help she had along the way.
“You never now when your world is turned upside down by a diagnosis like this,” she said, “but if you do get a diagnosis like this, there’s always hope. “