Holding Her Hand, and Warming Her Heart Through Breast Cancer Treatment

December 28, 2018
Holding her hand, and warming her heart, through breast cancer treatment

Cathy Johnson, who is a patient at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, first met Breast Care Navigator Michelle Lynch at her breast biopsy. “She held my hand the whole way through,” Johnson says. “She just reassured me.”

Since that day, Lynch has been with Johnson every step of the way through her cancer diagnosis and treatment. “She just makes everything go smoothly,” Johnson says. “She was my Mary Poppins.”

Lynch joined Lakewood Ranch to offer extra support for patients receiving breast health services. She explains that her role is to provide education and help navigating the treatment process. This may include assisting with scheduling, attending appointments, explaining treatment options and providing a shoulder to lean on. Patients decide how much, if any, extra support they need. For Johnson, who moved to the United States from England seven years ago with her husband and two children, having Lynch by her side was invaluable.

“The diagnosis was a shock for me,” says Johnson. Both she and her husband took comfort in the knowledge and counsel Lynch provided. “Medical things happening in the U.S. are very different from the U.K.,” Johnson says. “She reminded me to ask about things I never would have thought about.”

“For such a sad and traumatic time in life, to have that peace of mind of being looked after has been huge,” Johnson says. Along with the support from Lynch, she was reassured by the steady care of Thomas Kirchner, MD, who provided her radiologic treatment, and everyone at the hospital who made her feel “protected” throughout her journey. “The care I received at Lakewood Ranch was first class,” she says. “They make me feel like I am the only patient there, it is a wonderful feeling.”

A new location

You can now receive your mammogram and other diagnostic breast services in one dedicated space at The Breast Health Center now located in Medical Office Building 1, 8340 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, Suite 160 (attached to the hospital). Ultrasounds, DEXA scans, biopsies and 3D mammogram screenings are among the services provided by caring, compassionate staff in a quiet, spa-like environment. An additional 3D mammography system and new 3D guided prone breast biopsy system help support earlier diagnosis and treatment, and enable greater ease of scheduling. Breast Care Navigator Michelle Lynch stresses the importance of mammogram screening. “It absolutely saves lives,” she says.

To schedule an appointment, call 941-782-2662.