Breast Cancer Diagnosis Sets Runner on Different Path

Breast Cancer Diagnosis Sets Runner on Different Path


I’m Adrienne Ridgeway. I work in intercollegiate athletics. I had gone out for a run. Came back. And I kinda felt an initial lump. There was a little bit of anxiety of “what
could this be?” I had been to a checkup in that previous September. I doubt it’s cancer. I thought “I’m 33 years old. There’s no way. I’m too young for this.” When I got the diagnosis, you hear those words. We did your biopsy and you have cancer. You’re just frozen. I mean you’re numb. When you are going through this journey, there’s
so many emotions. There’s so many things that you’re uncertain
about. When I first arrived at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Cancer Network, I knew right away that I was in the hands
of a team who was working every day to make me better. That made me feel like, in this place, I’m
going to be OK. Dr. Tina Yen was the first doctor that I saw. From that very first day she started laying
out exactly what my diagnosis was. When she came to us with her cancer, hers
was a triple negative cancer. The fact that she was very young made us consider
genetic counseling and testing for her. Doing the chemotherapy up front gives women
a lot more time to think through all of their treatment options, because they don’t get
to surgery until after their chemotherapy is done. So it allows us to give her time to think
through what she really wants to do. When we give chemo before the surgery, we
can actually see the outcome. I can actually see the chemo is shrinking
the tumor. And during the surgery, if they don’t find
any cancer – that means that the patient has a complete response – it translates
to a very good outcome. My daughter was just shy of three years old
when I was diagnosed. That’s the person that I’m going to fight
for. It’s great to know that you’re in great
medical hands, but it felt to me even better to know I was in the hands of caring people. To feel welcome. To feel like people care about you. Not just as that patient, but truly as a person. That was a difference maker for me.

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