Battling Breast Cancer
God uses people like Stephanie and the other wonderful staff at the Imaging Center to be His hands, and do what He needs them to do to help cure or heal us.
Moments before Charlotte Martin walked into the CHRISTUS St. Michael Imaging Center, she prayed. She had recently discovered an unusual mass in her breast. Martin had battled breast cancer 20 years prior. In addition, several women in her family died from breast or ovarian cancer. She felt the chances of the mass being cancerous were too great to not address quickly.
“I prayed, ‘God, I am placing this in your hands. If these are not the people you want me to count on, than please have them guide me to where you want me to be,’” shares Martin.
A few moments later, she met Stephanie Stewart, RN, BSN, breast and cervical care coordinator and diagnostic patient navigator at CHRISTUS St. Michael Imaging Center. Stewart answers patients’ questions and guides them through the diagnostic and treatment process from the beginning.
“God uses people like Stephanie and the other wonderful staff at the Imaging Center to be His hands, and do what He needs them to do to help cure or heal us,” shares Martin.
Stewart walks side by side with patients from their first abnormal mammogram. If a biopsy is needed, Stewart coordinates your biopsy to ensure you receive the results as quickly as possible.
Besides scheduling appointments, Stewart can help prioritize next steps and provide calming reassurance for each patient.
“Many times, just knowing you need additional imaging ramps up anxiety from zero to 100,” Stewart says. “My role helps expedite the time from abnormal mammogram to biopsy. The quick time frame helps alleviate a lot of that anxiety.”
Stewart and the Imaging Center staff worked quickly with her primary care provider to get her a mammogram and ultrasound. “They moved fast,” says Martin. “I was able to have surgery scheduled before the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. They very well saved my life.”
Not only did all this take place in a timely manner, but also the support and guidance she received helped her maintain a positive attitude and look forward to being healthy again.
“The staff at the CHRISTUS St. Michael Imaging Center provided emotional support and empathy that was unreal. They understood the situation,” shares Martin. “Their confidence eased my worry.”
Stephanie arranged for Martin to meet with Tammy McKamie, RN, MSN, OCN, GCN, Cancer Genetic Educator, and participate in genetic testing. After results indicated she was at high risk and would benefit from a second mastectomy and hysterectomy, Martin had another Mastectomy and Hysterectomy.
“Looking back now, all of the challenges I had to deal with to overcome cancer were only temporary. I was okay with being temporarily sidelined if it meant living my life longer,” says Martin.
The cancer survivor is now able to do what she loves in life such as being a part of the video team at her church and fishing.