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Gina’s Story

I never realized how much I took my “all clear” from Windsong for granted until that day in November, 2010 that I didn’t get it. My cautious doctor had been sending me for mammograms since my 30s, and although there were questionable results along the way, no test showed problems that led to even a biopsy….just additional mammograms or ultrasounds that came back clear. In fact, I received so many clear reports that, subconsciously, I really think I came to expect it every time.

That changed in November of 2010. For the first time, a mammogram did lead to a biopsy. And at age 43, I listened as a very kind, patient, and sympathetic Dr. Anna Chen carefully explained to me that, although chances were slim, the tumor she biopsied did come back malignant. Later in the week, Windsong’s equally-patient Dr. Markus Holzhauer explained that he and other colleagues, upon examination of my films, thought a lumpectomy would suffice in removing the cancer.

In the weeks before, during, and after all this, at appointment after appointment after appointment and test after test, I spent many, MANY hours at Windsong, too many to count. Each time, I was welcomed to the specific room or area of Windsong by a flurry of caring, attentive women who treated me as though I was their only patient. Then I’d watch as they’d call another one of the women in the waiting room with me, and they’d treat her exactly the same way. A thousand times the doctors, technicians, and other staff must have heard the questions I asked…some of the questions I asked even made ME roll my eyes once I said them aloud and realized how ridiculous they were!…yet they answered each one as though it was the first time they received such a question, and responded in a way I could understand.

Throughout my pre- and post-treatment during 2011, there wasn’t one time…not a single time…that I didn’t feel I was in completely capable, experienced, and gentle hands at Windsong. My prayer following my diagnosis was that God would find a way to guide me through the entire experience, and He provided the angels on earth to do so (NO exaggeration!). To me, His hand is evident everywhere, in every part of this center that Dr. Janet Sung compassionately developed. She and her team have become some of my life’s greatest blessings.

My prayers continued to be answered Monday, January 9, 2012 when I returned to Windsong for my series of annual tests. Again, throughout the long day, I was warmly welcomed by this extraordinary Windsong staff, who I count among my friends now. They shared my excitement as, this time, Dr. Chen happily told me everything looked clear…and I have no reservations about writing that I will NEVER take that for granted again.

Gina Browning

Gina Browning is the Director of Public Relations for Erie County SPCA