A Team Approach to Healing

A Team Approach to Healing

A Team Approach to Healing

Retired insurance executive John Rock is not one to wait around for things to happen. Certainly that was not the case when he met his wife, Pat, 62 years ago at then Monumental Life Insurance Company where they both happened to work. In fact, he proposed on the second date! “I couldn’t get those beautiful green eyes out of my mind.”

After marrying in 1952 they settled into a wonderful life of raising five children and now have nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. The athletic couple filled their life with children, friends, skiing, tennis and golf. Pat and John felt blessed until March 9, 2011, their son’s birthday, when Michael Schultz, MD, director of the Breast Center, gently told Pat that her biopsy was positive; she did, indeed, have breast cancer in both breasts.

“You think you know how you’re going to feel when you hear something like that,” says Pat. “Well, you don’t,” she says flatly. “I thought I could handle it but I was terrified. I thank God every day for sending me to Dr. Schultz and his team. From the first visit he spent a tremendous amount of time explaining everything to us in the greatest detail. He laid out every option and when I said I didn’t want chemotherapy and was choosing radiation instead, he respected my decision.” Dr. Schultz promised Pat his job was to “make sure you celebrate your 100th birthday.”

A Team Approach to Healing

What amazed Pat was that the entire team shared Dr. Schultz’s gift for empathy and attention. “Dr. Ronson, my radiologist and Dr. Couzi, my oncologist have both been wonderful. The machines that deliver radiation can be quite frightening looking and I didn’t know what to expect. The team was so reassuring and talked me through what turned out to be a fast, painless procedure. In fact, everyone at the Cancer Institute seems to be cut from a different cloth. Going there is like walking into a hug,” Pat smiles.

Pat and John’s days on the ski slopes are long over. But there is much more they want to do. Thanks to the team at the Breast Center, they’re going to have that chance.

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