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Jolene on the day of her last radiation treatment.

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.