Every weekday Kay Redding walks through the doors of Sutter Gould Medical Foundation where she works as a medical assistant in the Urology Department. After a routine mammogram revealed she had breast cancer, Kay passed through those same doors with an entirely new perspective. Now she was there to receive care.
Kay schedules her mammogram every year near her birthday — so it’s easy to remember. Just after her 44th birthday came the diagnosis.
Kay met with breast surgeon, Lauren Strickland, D.O., to discuss treatment options. It was a familiar setting: Dr. Strickland’s office is on the same floor as Urology, right across the hall from where Kay works. After talking through the pros and cons, Kay opted for a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction in the same surgery. This approach meant only one surgery and one recovery period.
Once they decided, everything happened swiftly.
“The day I found out that I had breast cancer, to the day I had surgery was less than three weeks,” Kay says. She had her surgery at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.
Because Kay’s cancer was discovered at a very early stage, she was able to avoid chemotherapy and radiation.
“Early detection made a big difference in Kay’s situation,” Dr. Strickland says. “We were able to perform surgery without doing any additional therapies.”
Kay says the entire team at Sutter Gould was incredibly supportive — Dr. Strickland; her nurse, Connie; and, of course, Kimberlee Kauffroath, the oncology nurse navigator. It was Kimberlee who gave Kay her diagnosis and accompanied Kay on her first appointment with Dr. Strickland.
“The nurse navigator, she was like my best friend for a few months,” Kay says.
Kay says she is immensely grateful her cancer was caught so early during routine screening.“It’s very important to have your routine mammogram. So don’t skip that,” Kay says.
Kay is now cancer-free, and her quick treatment and recovery meant she was able to get back sooner to her life and the people she loves. One precious moment she cherishes: After her recovery Kay was well enough to join her husband, Mark, at the rink to cheer as their son scored the game-winning goal in the hockey state championships.
In the end it’s all about being there for more of these treasured moments with family.
“It’s the time we spend as a family,” Kay says. “That’s how we make memories.”