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Cancer Survivor Stories

Linda's Story

Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2009. "I feel very blessed it was detected by technology before we even felt it," said Linda. "Fortunately, I've been really
good about getting my mammograms; had I waited any longer it could have been a more dangerous situation to deal with".

With surgery scheduled for early June, Linda began preoperative testing at St. Joseph's Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital-North in Lutz, which was close to her home. "I had a real peace at St. Joseph's during all of my pre-op testing. Everyone was delightful, very helpful, very concerned, loving," recalls Linda. "She is an extraordinary surgeon," Linda says of surgeon Dr. Sylvia Campbell.

On the day of her surgery, Linda remembers Dr. Campbell holding her hand and reading a selected scripture verse. "As they began to put the mask on me and slowly put me to sleep, she was praying for me. I had an incredible peace about the whole situation."

Linda's treatment plan following her surgery included six weeks of radiation, six weeks of chemotherapy and seven years of an oral therapy drug to reduce the risk of the cancer reoccurring to 95%. On her last day of radiation, Linda cried. "The radiation team was my extended family. We connected!"

In a letter addressed to the radiation team, she writes, "I am so thankful for your technical skills, your tenderness, your availability and willingness to 'walk' with me and guide me. You are truly a caring team of professionals who have been a blessing and joy to my heart and spirit as you physically and spiritually cared for me." As Linda reflects on her journey with cancer, she counts her blessings, "All in all, I've had a wonderful team of medical professionals. I feel like the team at St. Joseph's is on your side. They are fighting with you! Cancer is an enemy we are all fighting together!"

Peggy's Story

Peggy was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2010. Peggy's surgery was scheduled for December 22 at St. Joseph's Hospital. Her surgeon, Dr. Suzanne Lynn, who was scheduled to be on vacation for the Christmas holiday, canceled her vacation and performed the surgery. "I'm just so grateful," Peggy remarks, "I couldn't ask for better care than what I got." Peggy went home from the hospital on Christmas Eve.

Of her caregivers and medical staff at St. Joseph's Cancer Institute Peggy says, "They looked at me as a person. They explained everything. They were comforting. And several people gave me their phone numbers and said to call if I have any questions." "I feel so fortunate I had excellent care," states Peggy. "The physical care, everybody that I met and everywhere I was at St. Joseph's Hospital, at St. Joseph's Women's, and the different departments. Everybody was universally kind and caring, trying to make it personal and not just putting you through a system."

To contact the Cancer HelpLine, please call (800)-882-4123 or (813) 870-4123.

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