As a busy wife, mother, and PhD student, Kathy Richardson almost put off her annual mammogram and is glad she didn’t. Within 24 hours of that mammogram, she received a call explaining that something was abnormal. After a follow-up at Lancaster General Health, Kathy was diagnosed with breast cancer.
At first, the news was overwhelming. Kathy and her husband finally sat down with their two boys and talked about what was happening.
Kathy’s team at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute included an LG Health breast surgeon and a Penn Medicine plastic surgeon who worked with her to form a treatment plan. They recommended a bilateral mastectomy and discussed her options for breast reconstruction. Because of the location of her tumor, Kathy was able to have a procedure that resulted in a more natural looking appearance.
Trust and Treatment
Kathy’s doctors encouraged her to continue her PhD program without taking a medical leave. She maintained a full course schedule throughout her surgeries and recovery time.
“One of my surgeons actually called me the night before surgery, just to ask me if I was okay and see how I was doing, and I don’t think that I’ll ever forget that,” she said.
Kathy’s type of breast cancer was not receptive to traditional chemotherapy, so she takes an oral medication that she will continue to take for 10 years. The medicine has very few side effects, and she feels fantastic.
“I did a class called Body Attack yesterday at the gym, lifting weights, doing cardio, no side effects from meds. I feel great,” she said.
Kathy is grateful for the compassionate care she received from the entire team at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute.
“I’m just so thankful for the time that they invested in us, and the care, and the concern, and just the great work that they did,” she said.