Jamie: My name is Jamie, I first became a patient of the Breast Center, in December of 2012, I was about 38 weeks pregnant. Whenever I had first come in for an ultrasound to be done with Dr. Matthews, I had found a lump in my breast a couple of months prior during my pregnancy, and we weren’t too worried about it. But it kept getting larger and more concerning. So, I spoke with my GYN, who had recommended that I come here for further evaluation.
The staff was actually very accommodating, compassionate. We all know probably how it feels to be a little uncomfortable at the end of your pregnancy, and then to have the added stress of worrying about if you know, I could possibly have breast cancer. So, they are actually very, very helpful here. I came in for the ultrasound.
Whenever the ultrasound was finished, Dr. Matthews came in, and did a few more scans, and at the time told me that he was, you know, concerned that we should probably look further into it. So, a couple days later I came in for a breast biopsy. At that point I was about a week away from my C-section so, I was very large, and uncomfortable, and they were really accommodating, and made sure that everything was done to keep me, you know, kind of comfortable, and taken care of.
I had the biopsy done here, and I came back the very next day to receive the results. It was at that time, that I found out that I did, in fact, have breast cancer. Although it was kind of frightening because, not only did I find out about that, but it was hard because we couldn’t really pursue it. Because I had to have the baby first.
So, Dr. Matthews, and the nurses here were actually very, very helpful, because they calmed me down, and tried to have everything in place for me. Dr. Matthews had already called my other physicians, had set up appointments for me. So, as soon as I received the results here, I immediately went over to see my breast surgeon, who sat me down, talked to me about the pathology results, let me know what the next step would be. That although I would have to deliver, that we would have to act quickly. They were concerned because of the size of the masses, that it was something that had, you know, progressed and was maybe advanced stages.
So, she went ahead and set me up for an appointment with the Oncologist, so that I could take care of that after I had the baby. So, on December 20th, I delivered a healthy baby boy, 9 lbs., and we’re, we’re very excited but also very, very, scared because, although it is a very happy time in life you just don’t know. You don’t know what is going to happen. I had two girls at home and there is a lot of what ifs, you know you want to be around. So, the Breast Center had also got me in touch with support groups. The Pink Ribbon Divas, I later became very involved with, and they helped me through, through a lot of things. Treatment is hard, not only physically, but emotionally. So with the Breast Center and the Pink Ribbon Divas, I was actually able to see out all of my cancer treatments. I had chemo first, I did four months of chemo, which was hard, but it was, it was doable. We got through it, and then after I did that, I had a mastectomy and following the mastectomy I had 30 rounds of radiation.
The Pink Divas and the Breast Center of Acadiana hosted monthly meetings, where we came here. It was just a nice outlet to come and talk to other women who were having the same experiences, not just about cancer, but about family, about the day to day struggles of what you will go through, and all those things really carried me, carried me through the process.
After my– one of my surgeries, I actually had an area they became concerned with. So I had my second experience with Dr. Matthews, which was just as great as the first.
Came in, and from scheduling to the end, it all flowed very nicely. The staff here is not only very knowledgeable but they are compassionate. And they understand how nerve racking it is whenever you find something that you are concerned with, and you know, you don’t want to hear that you have to wait three weeks to be seen. What, three weeks? Who wants to wait three weeks whenever I could possibly have cancer again? So, they get that, and I came back in very quickly, and had the ultrasound, and as soon as they were finished, Dr. Matthews came in, and said “Nope, we don’t have to worry about this one, everything’s good”, and that, you know, it’s a good feeling. It’s a good feeling to be able to trust in the doctors that you have.
Without that trust, the doubt seems to creep in and it’s one that I can say , not only as a patient, but as a health care professional that Dr. Matthews is amazing. You know he’s- I’ve been to other facilities and by far I would recommend the Breast Center of Acadiana.
Not only did I say- Like I said, they are very knowledgeable and compassionate, but you can tell that their patients come first, and they’re really good at what they do, and I actually had a third, and final experience here, with Dr. Matthews, which was only a couple of months ago. I had my final phase of reconstruction done. I had went to New Orleans and saw a Physician there and had a DIEP flap, and which, is basically, they do a tummy tuck, and make new breasts out of it. And a couple of months after that, I felt a lump and it was actually found by coincidence, and it just struck me odd because it was above my radiation line, and I was thinking hmm… that’s a bit odd. Maybe, you know the radiation missed something, and so I showed it to my oncologist and she said, “You know, it’s definitely something we need to look into. We always want to be very cautious”
And I came in and saw Dr. Gary, and they did another ultrasound, and he once again came in the room and said “No, you know I don’t think we have to worry about this one, it looks like it’s gonna be benign. I will review the ultrasound.”, and so you know, very excitedly I left and got back to work and noticed I had a voice mail. I checked, and it was Dr. Matthews and he said” Hey, Jamie, you know if you don’t mind just give me a call back.”, and so I did, in fact, call him back, and he said “You know, I went through your previous mammograms, and your previous films from whenever we originally diagnosed you, and he said you know, just something doesn’t set right. I still believe that this is benign, but whenever I look at it on your previous mammogram, this new mass is almost in the same exact spot.” And he said “Because of that I really would like to be on the safe side and go ahead and biopsy it.” Which meant a lot that, not only did he care enough that he went back and checked those things, but that he would understand you know, how I would want to be sure, and be positive that, you know, this is nothing that I need to worry about. So I did, in fact, come back in for a second biopsy with Dr. Matthews, which went great.
You know, the nurses here are always good. Afterwards, they give you plenty of instructions. Everything is very clear, runs like a well-oiled machine, and a couple of days later I found out that, in fact it was benign so, I can speak from experience and say that I have had no bad experience here with the Breast Center. And between the doctors, the staff and even the Pink Ribbon Divas, who’ve been associated in the past with the Breast Center, all of it has made my experience a pretty good one.