Toyce: Stage 3 Breast Cancer Survivor

Toyce has always felt that life is precious. In fact she signs her emails ‘Carpe Diem,’ Latin for seize the day. She got mammograms regularly, but when she felt something unusual she went to Goshen Retreat Women’s Health Center.

When the diagnosis came back as Stage III Breast Cancer and Cancer of the Lymph Nodes she never questioned going anywhere besides Goshen Center for Cancer Care for treatment.

“I absolutely loved Dr. Bruetman from the first time I met him. Quite often in my life I make it all about everybody else, but it felt like he was all about me and that’s exactly what I needed.”

Toyce put her faith in God and her trust in her team of doctors and specialists at Goshen. She also met with a nutritionist, dietician, and counselor prior to surgery, and says the integrative approach put her at ease.

“It was comforting to know everybody was on the same page. I didn’t have to worry if that person knew my plan. I’d walk into a room and everybody knew everything.”

At Goshen Center for Cancer Care, the staff makes time with patients a top priority. Toyce recalled spending 45 minutes asking her doctor questions before committing to start a 10-year prescription.

“Dr. Bruetman was so patient with me. I never felt like he was in a hurry or judging me for asking questions.”

From the naturopathic pharmacists, to the counselors, to the schedulers, and more, the full range of service and specialists available at Goshen all played a role in Toyce’s recovery.

“I think it’s vital—it’s not something extra—to have a variety of services under one roof for the treatment of cancer patients. If I had to go to multiple locations to see all the people who treated me and helped me, I couldn’t have done it.”

Shortly after her surgery, Toyce’s son promised to take her to the Outer Banks of North Carolina the following year. She always dreamed of climbing to the top of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, and happily, on the one-year anniversary of her mastectomy, she climbed the 20-story structure in 20 minutes.

“I really feel those doctors saved my life.”

She continues to seize the day and is currently planning her 90th birthday party, which will take place 35 years from now.

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