Josh and Beth’s story
St. Vincent’s HealthCare cares for families. We were there for Josh and Beth’s family for the joyful birth of their three children, for their primary care needs and for their difficult journey when Beth had breast cancer.
Beth is a 31 year old wife and mother of 3 small children. Beth’s mother was born at St. Vincent’s and her grandparents were residents of St. Catherine Labouré Manor. Beth was also born at St. Vincent’s and her Primary Care physician is Dr. Bob Raspa of St. Vincent’s Family Medicine Center. Dr. Raspa cares for patients from all walks of life, young, old, more fortunate and less fortunate. All of these patients receive the same excellent care. In 2008 Beth and Josh had their first child at St. Vincent’s, a girl, and as first time parents, Beth and Josh attended childbirth, infant safety and breastfeeding classes through St. Vincent’s Seton Center. These classes are free and open to the community. Beth was a very healthy 31 year old. She exercised regularly and ate a healthy diet.
In 2012 Beth gave birth to her 3rd child and less than a year later noticed a small lump in her breast that wouldn’t go away. Beth had an MRI and consulted with a surgeon. She had no family history of breast cancer and chances of it being anything bad was less than 5%. A biopsy was performed and Beth was told she had invasive breast cancer. Beth met with her surgeons, oncologists, a radiologist, a geneticist and a Nurse Navigator to come up with an aggressive game plan. Beth loved St. Vincent’s and St. Vincent’s had served her well, but was St. Vincent’s really the best place to have cancer treatments? Beth sought a second opinion at another local hospital. Beth received the same recommendations for treatment at this hospital. In the end, she decided to have her surgery and treatment at St. Vincent’s. This is where she felt at home and was confident she would receive the best possible care. Beth had a double mastectomy and began chemotherapy. Her cancer was only stage I and had not spread to any lymph nodes. The early detection made a huge difference for a favorable outcome.
Beth benefited from various resources St. Vincent’s has to offer. She attended a celebration for National Cancer Survivor Day and was inspired to meet people who had faced much worse diagnoses and had overcome them. She attended monthly breast cancer support groups, met fellow survivors, and shared their struggles. She attended Breast Reconstruction Awareness night where the latest in reconstruction techniques were discussed and she was able to see first-hand what the reconstructed breast looked like thanks to the women who agreed to privately model.
Cancer affected Beth’s whole family. The one program that helped Beth and her family the most was Kids Together Against Cancer (KTAC). KTAC supports families with children that have a parent going through cancer treatment. KTAC meetings start out with dinner as a group and then the children participate in art projects which are designed to convey and discuss their emotions. At the same time, the parents meet and learn how to talk to their kids about cancer. KTAC helps parents know what typical behavior is for kids and what could be related to the stress of the cancer, and how to handle the questions and fears that come along with diagnoses and treatment.
St. Vincent’s has gone Above. Beyond. Because. for families like Beth’s for almost 100 years and we are here for you.