Once a patient, I now guide others through their breast cancer treatment.
Although I am open to sharing my personal journey through breast cancer,
my focus is to help educate, guide and support others. I am able to share
my confidence in the Breast Care Center not only as an employee but from
a patient’s point of view. I often tell patients, “I have
been in that same chair myself.” Many patients tell me they feel
reassured knowing I have been through it and that I am speaking from personal
I have more than thirty years of nursing expertise. I obtained my Bachelor
of Science in Nursing in 1986 from a small private college in Buffalo,
NY. Immediately upon graduation, I moved to California where I worked
in many areas of cancer care: hospital, private practice, home IV therapy
and Hospice care.
I moved to Sonoma County in 1991 to further my education, graduating from
Sonoma State University in 1994 with a Master of Science in Nursing degree
and certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). I worked as an
FNP in private family practice for more than eleven years taking care
of all ages of patients from infants to the elderly.
After completing my breast cancer treatment, I really wanted to help others
going through this experience. That is when I came to the breast center
formerly Redwood Regional Medical Group and began working in the breast
surgery department. I am nationally certified as a Breast Patient Navigator
in both imaging and cancer treatment. I work as a team member along side
the Breast Surgeons, Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists,
Genetic Nurse Practitioner, and Medical Assistants.
I have also joined Dr Shaw and Traci in the Primary Care Oncology and Survivorship
Program. I am meeting with patients who are having side effects from their
cancer therapy medications or have completed their active cancer treatments
and now need survivorship follow up care.
As a Nurse Practitioner at St Joseph Health Cancer Care, I meet with patients
when they are newly diagnosed with breast cancer and educate them about
their diagnosis, explaining their pathology report. I discuss the possible
treatment options and the expected sequence of care. Following the consult
with one of the breast surgeons they will return to meet with me for instructions
before the operation. It is my mission to help answer questions and allay
their fears. I will then see them once they have completed all of their