When Renown Health employee Danielle Roberts was diagnosed with cancer, she had a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and an eventual reconstructive surgery in her future. Through Renown’s Institute for Cancer, Roberts was able to receive comprehensive cancer care close to the comfort of home and her family. Learn more about how Renown has expanded care to serve patients like Roberts in our annual report, Renown for What Matters Most — A Report to Thanks Our Community, now available online.
Having lost both of her parents to cancer, Danielle Roberts was taking precautionary steps necessary for her health. She was getting an MRI every six months, and when the time came for the results from her last preventive MRI, she got the news.
She had cancer.
“I kept [my final preventive MRI screening] from my family and wanted to surprise them,” Roberts explains. “I wanted to tell them ‘Great! I can now do a normal mammogram every year.’”
When Roberts heard the breast cancer diagnosis, she said she was terrified and scared. “But I knew I could do it. I could do whatever life was going to throw at me.”
What followed was a meeting with physicians and reviewing options followed by a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, continued treatment at Renown Infusion Services and an eventual reconstruction surgery.
“I have never regretted my decision to have a double mastectomy,” she says. “Especially after the pathology reports from the biopsy came back. We knew I had cancer on the left side, but the pathology report after the surgery revealed it on both sides. I thank God every day that I did them both.”
Roberts underwent chemotherapy from July to November and is currently continuing treatment. Three weeks into her chemo, she started losing her hair and asked her sister to shave her head for her — something she said as a woman was tough to do.
Cancer Patient Finds Endless Support
From her physicians and nurses to her family and co-workers, she has received tremendous support.
“Infusion nurses Ericka and Ashley have both gotten my doctor on the phone to make sure my orders are signed and that I am healthy enough to go ahead with my chemo as scheduled,” she says. “To me, that tells me how dedicated they are to their patients and making sure their patients are taking care of.”
Roberts, who works in the Renown business office, only missed time from work for her surgery and continued working 40 hours a week, thanks in part to the support of her co-workers.
“The support I’ve gotten from them is amazing,” she says. “I’ve had team members come to me and say ‘If you need anything or somebody to get you water, I’ll get it for you.’ Knowing that I didn’t feel good, it was amazing to have that support.”
So given this recent experience, what advice would she give patients who find themselves in her situation?
“Trust those caring for you, and if you do, your treatment will go well and you will feel like you can conquer anything,” Roberts says. “Nurses are your first line of defense. They are very special people.”