Wendy’s Story: Overcoming Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Here is Wendy Buzzanga’s story of how she overcame breast cancer and her message that all women should get preventative screenings to fight breast cancer and raise awareness.

On her 42nd birthday, October 22, 2016, while outside with her family, Wendy discovered a lump on her chest. Thinking it was just a cyst and intending to ignore it, Wendy’s husband encouraged her to get it looked at by her family doctor, Brent Hoke, DO, Central Family & Sports Medicine.

On November 7, 2016, Wendy was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a cancer known for being extremely aggressive.

 

Finding Exceptional Care

From the very beginning, Wendy insisted on receiving treatment at WMMC since she has received care here for the majority of her life. After learning of her diagnosis, Wendy started immediate appointments to determine her treatment options. Her first appointment after her mammogram was with Dr. Switzner at Surgical Services of Warrensburg.

“She cared about me. I felt like I wasn’t just another patient.” Wendy said of Dr. Switzner. “From the very first time I walked through the doors it felt different. It was close to home and I trusted all the doctors that helped me along my journey: Drs. Switzner, Hoke, and Smeltzer {Saint Luke’s Cancer Center on our campus.}”

She also spoke of the nurses on staff watching UCM games with her and treating her like their very own mom, and how the doctors were very concerned and caring.

“It was never a question of where I would receive care. I insisted on Western Missouri Medical Center. They were wonderful to me. I felt like they cared so much about me. I was a part of their family,” Wendy exclaimed when asked how she was treated at WMMC. “Even today, I will run into the staff who cared for out in our community and they remember me by name and ask how I’m doing.”

 

Treatment Closer to Home

Wendy missed several life events due to cancer, including her daughters’ games that she had never missed, and even graduation week for her oldest daughter, Macy. But she couldn’t imagine if she had to drive to the city for treatments how many more life events she would have missed.

With Triple Negative Breast Cancer, one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, Wendy was receiving treatment daily for months. Being able to see her doctors without having to drive to the city allowed her to continue her life as normal as possible by going to her daughters games, attending church, and remaining active in her daycare.

Wendy's Family

 

Recovery and in Remission

In July of 2017, with the help of WMMC’s advanced care, technology, and specialists, Wendy completed her last radiation treatment. She’s now in remission and enjoying life’s precious moments.

One of the pieces of equipment to be purchased by WMMC’s Foundation is a Portable Ultrasound Machine that helped diagnose Wendy’s cancer, allowing her care team to determine a treatment plan.

Wendy's Family

 

Wendy’s Wish

“Help me fight breast cancer by getting screened and being aware,” Wendy preached to everyone she knew after the diagnosis.

Thank you, Wendy for letting us be for your partner in fighting cancer and for sharing your inspiring story! To hear more from Wendy, please join us at Ladies’ Night Out on Tuesday, October 16th as she is our key note speaker! Find out more about the event at wmmc.com/events/2018.

 

Do you have a story about your experience at WMMC that you want to share with us? We want to hear it! Call (660) 262-7472, or email eschmutz@wmmc.com to share your experience today!

 

Other Recent Posts by WMMC:

Elizabeth’s Story: Life’s Greatest Journeys Start Every Day in Our Birthing Center

Breast Feeding Myths DeBunked

Pumping Pointers

 

 

About Western Missouri Medical Center

Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) is a fully-accredited acute care county medical center located in Warrensburg, MO. WMMC prides itself in emergency care, obstetrics, orthopedic and general surgery, family healthcare, internal medicine, outpatient clinics, ambulatory care, rehabilitation services and more. Inpatient services include medical, surgical, intensive, obstetrical, orthopedic, pediatric and skilled nursing care, as well as a wide range of therapeutic and diagnostic outpatient services. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Learn more at WMMC.com.