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Kathy Bollinger: Hear My Story

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Hear My Story: Kathy Bollinger - Full Transcription

Audio:    Opening music plays over photo of Kathy Bollinger

Image/Text:  Photo of Kathy Bollinger – Cancer Patient
President, Arizona West Region, Banner Health
Kathy’s handwriting on photo: “I know, I lived it.”

Image:  Kathy Bollinger speaks on-camera.

Audio: “I’ll never forget that moment, the moment I heard the words: ‘You have cancer.’ It was 10:05 AM; it was a Thursday, June 25, 2009. I was heading back to my office to drop some things off and to pick up some other items for my next meeting and my phone was ringing. And I looked down and I saw it was my physician and I was surprised because I didn’t expect my path report until the next day. And I picked up the phone and he said, ‘Kathy, I can’t believe I have to tell you this but you have breast cancer.’ And I slumped down in my chair and I - what was in my arms ended up on the floor and I tried really hard to listen to what he was saying but all I could hear was my heart.  So after what felt like a long time, it was probably only a couple of seconds, I said, you know, ‘Get it together and – and listen.’ And I said, ‘Tell me what we know about this cancer so far.’ And he said, ‘It’s invasive and this, you know, we will – you’ll have to – obviously the next step is to meet with a surgeon. And we won’t know, until we see if the cancer’s traveled into your lymph nodes, how extensive it is.’ But it was a moment of terror, fear and surreal for me.

Well, my treatment plan really began with a conversation with my surgeon. And my husband and I sat with her for a couple of hours and she reviewed the pathology report. She gave us all the options and the pros and cons of the options. And she then said, ‘It would be my recommendation that we remove both breasts and that we do so within two weeks.’ And so I had – I knew my surgeon, which gave me tremendous confidence. I very much appreciated all the options and then knowing what she would recommend and why she would recommend that. And I move pretty quickly to solutions and so, in this case, I now had a menu of options in front of me and I had some informed recommendations, and so I knew I needed to get going.

Surprisingly, there were a lot of positives that came out of this diagnosis of cancer for me. In fact, this past weekend we were – my husband and I were out to dinner with some friends and we were toasting to the New Year and they said, ‘Boy, you guys have had a terrible 2009 and, you know, here’s to a great and healthy 2010.’ And my husband said, without any pause, he said, ‘You know, it was a tough year but we’re a much better family as a result of it.’ And that’s a pretty strong positive.

I couldn’t be more excited to have the Banner M. D. Anderson Cancer partnership for lots of reasons. And, you know, interestingly, I was impressed before I had my own diagnosis that Banner and M. D. Anderson had formed this partnership. And I knew from a market and a perspective and a system perspective that it would really add quiet a bit to us. My passion for it changed quiet a bit once it touched me and I realized how important it is to have care that is coordinated, that is state-of-the-art, that brings both the science of cancer care and the art of cancer care together.

People like me that have daughters, I don’t want my daughter to live like this—live with this. I don’t want my daughter to live with breast cancer. And so anything that we can do, along with a world renowned partner, to result in a world without cancer I think is a fabulous and noble mission.”

Audio:  Closing Music

Image/Text:  Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
Higley Road and US 60
2946 E. Banner Gateway Drive
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 256-6444
(855) 256-6444

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