Tag Archives: breast cancer

Three-time Breast Cancer Survivor

Patient Stories

photo courtesy of Bell Photography Vira Brooks had three sons in high school. And she had newly-diagnosed breast cancer. “I remember hearing the words, ‘You have cancer,’” she said. “Those words set you back I don’t know how many millenniums.” It was a tough time for the busy mom, who’s also an administrative assistant in the Omaha Public Schools’ Special Education Services.”I decided to do what I had to do to at least see them graduate,” she said, reflecting on that time 19 years ago. James, her oldest, was a senior at Creighton Prep. Twins Justin and Jason were a couple of years younger and students at North High. “I told them all, ‘Mom will be at your graduation.’” After … Continue reading

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3-D Mammogram Catches Breast Cancer Early

Patient Stories

When Carmen Campisi called to schedule her mammogram, she hadn’t heard of the new 3-D technology, or tomosynthesis, at Alegent Creighton Health Lakeside Hospital. A spur-of-the-moment decision to try it may have saved her life. The employee scheduling her appointment mentioned the new technology, which is only available at the Lakeside Imaging Department of the Women’s Center. While the digital 2-D mammogram is considered the “gold standard” for detection of breast cancer, the 3-D technology turns 15 digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or slices, making early detection easier. Campisi decided to give the 3-D a try, never suspecting her tests would be positive. She had a biopsy 12 years ago and her mother died in … Continue reading

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Can’t Win For Losing


This morning while eating breakfast I came across a story in the newspaper announcing that an occasional glass of wine can increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer by 15%. I immediately rushed across the room to where my wife was standing and swatted the Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007 out of her hand before she had a chance to take her first deadly sip. Her mouth dropped open and her eyes gleamed with what I’m sure was gratitude for my quick thinking and decisive action. The next moment, though, the fact that I’m a heart doctor popped into my head and I recalled that we cardiologists have been promoting the heart-friendly attributes of regular wine ingestion for years. … Continue reading

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My Journey from Breast Cancer

Patient Stories

I do not have a family history of any type of cancer.  The furthest thing from my mind was that one day I would join the “pink ribbon club” but all of that changed on Thursday, January 29, 2009 when I discovered a lump in my left breast.  I followed up with my doctor the next week and we decided to watch it for a month.  My second appointment was on March 4 and since the tumor had not changed, my doctor sent me for another mammogram, ultrasound and needle biopsy.  I was told on St. Patrick’s Day that the results of the needle biopsy indicated that the tumor was cancerous.  My doctor recommended that I go to the breast … Continue reading

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My Nurse Navigator

Patient Stories

Eighteen months ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My surgeon, Dr. Imbrock, contacted the cancer nurse navigators, and that’s how I met Amy Graber.  Amy has been such a blessing and really lived up to her title: navigator. She helped us make appointments for tests, answered many, many questions, held my hand during the scariest times, and became a very good friend to my husband and me. She truly helped us get through some really tough months. We still keep in contact and I know I can call her with any question or just to say hello. The nurse navigators at Bergan Mercy Medical Center are just wonderful and make such a difference in the lives of their patients. … Continue reading

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