Around Thanksgiving last year, Jolene Ruths was holding her grandson when he reared his head back, hitting her chest. She said it hurt, and shortly after, she felt a lump in her breast that wouldn’t go away.
Though she was due for her mammogram, it had been a few years since her last one. She was worried and called her gynecologist, Dr. Obioma Maduakor. Dr. Maduakor got Jolene right in for a diagnostic mammogram. That same day, she also had an ultrasound and biopsy. That was a Friday, and on Monday, she got the call saying she had breast cancer.
“When I heard the word cancer, I was shocked. I was hoping it wasn’t. It’s a word no one wants to hear. I was so overwhelmed, but also so comforted by the team around me. Everyone made the information so understandable, and explained to me exactly what I could expect.”
Jolene completed five months of chemotherapy and had her last of 32 radiation treatments on October 7. Her team included Dr. Christian Zwick, surgeon; Dr. M. Amjad Ali, oncologist; Dr. Michael Fallon, radiation oncologist; and QMG Women’s Health Navigator Rebecca Dedert.
After completing her last radiation treatment this week, Jolene will continue follow-up appointments with her team of physicians and will have a second surgery in January. For the next ten years, she will continue on aromatase inhibitor medication to help prevent the recurrence of her cancer.