Two days after participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® in Washington, D.C., to support her daughter, Cathy, a breast cancer survivor, a routine mammogram at Susquehanna Health’s Kathryn Candor Lundy Breast Health Center showed abnormalities in Sue Young’s breast tissue.
“I knew what it was right away,” says Sue, 64. “It was exactly what Cathy had.” Sue had a biopsy the same day and received the positive diagnosis three days later. Within a week, Dr. Pagana performed a lumpectomy.
When Dr. Pagana biopsied her breast 20 years ago, Sue anticipated the worst and was cancer free. This time, with a cancer diagnosis, she was upbeat and confident. The positive surroundings and caregivers bolstered her outlook.
“I knew I would be taken care of,” she says. “I had all the confidence in the world in Dr. Pagana and his staff.”
Plans began for Sue’s radiation treatment at Susquehanna Health Cancer Center in Divine Providence Hospital—a place she knew well. As co-chairs of Susquehanna Health’s Capital Campaign for Project 2012, Sue and her husband, John, hosted many tours of the state-of-the-art facility to showcase the impact renovations and new technology could bring to the community.
“On my first day of treatment, my daughter asked, ‘Weren’t you scared, Mom?’ and I wasn’t,” says Sue. “I wasn’t ever afraid.” For seven weeks, Sue received daily radiation therapy. The new linear accelerator she had proudly touted to potential donors pinpointed and eliminated any remaining cancer cells with amazing precision.
As she shared experiences with her daughter she appreciated that her caregivers at the Breast Health Center and Cancer Center communicated regularly about her case and helped her navigate appointments, tests and treatments.
At her last treatment in September, Sue received memorable words of encouragement from her radiation oncologist, Dr. David Nagel.
“I was concerned about the side effects of Femara, the anti-estrogen pill I would have to take for the next five years, and Dr. Nagel said, ‘You have had the best cancer treatment available, and your chances of recurrence are very low after the radiation and with this medicine. Go take it, and get on with your life.’ I thought that was pretty terrific advice,” she says.