Maureen: Nurse, Patient and Cancer Survivor
A Nurse Facing Her Own Diagnosis
"I had some abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain," explained occupational health nurse Maureen. "I'm 49, I must be going through menopause," she thought. Maureen's gynecologist did a biopsy and found uterine cancer. She was referred by her gynecologist to Dr. Neil Rosenshein, renowned gynecologic oncology surgeon at The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy in Baltimore.
Maureen was in the midst of her doctoral dissertation when she came to see Dr. Rosenshein.
Dr. Rosenshein used the latest research and techniques in order to provide an aggressive treatment plan. "Dr. Rosenshein was very professional. Having worked with doctors for many years, you get a sense right away whether or not they know what they're talking about. After my initial visit, I was very confident that I was in good hands," Maureen said.
"When I first learned about my cancer, I thought this was it for me, but Dr. Rosenshein comforted me and said, ‘You're going to be around a long time.'"
Now, years after her diagnosis, she says, "I didn't believe that I would still be here, but it's true. It's all part of that evolution and no one's more surprised than me!"
A Different Kind of Empathy
As a cancer survivor, Maureen is able to extend the compassion that was offered to her at The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy to her patients. She conducts medical exams of former nuclear weapons industry employees. "We look at the long term health effects of radiation exposure, so I've encountered people with many different types of cancer," she said.
"I can say more than I just feel bad for you. I can say, I know where you've been and I can identify with what you're facing. I understand what it's like to be afraid and waiting for the other shoe to drop," Maureen said. Her diagnosis has given her "a different kind of empathy," allowing her to offer support and understanding to the patients she treats.
Through working with her patients and battling her own disease, Maureen has "come to an understanding" with cancer. "I've learned that cancer is a chronic disease. Since I was a young nurse, I've watched the evolution of cancer treatment, from chemotherapy to pain medications, and things are improving."
Maureen is right. Research, clinical advances, earlier diagnosis, new treatment options, and state-of-the-art facilities give surgeons like Dr. Rosenshein the tools needed to advance the cure for gynecologic cancers.
Maureen's Treatment Team