Janice Gowan had the ability to go nearly anywhere for chemotherapy treatment following breast cancer surgery in 2012. But only The Scarborough Hospital felt like the right place for her to receive care.
Janice’s battle with cancer stretches back to the mid-1980s when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. That diagnosis was further complicated when it was discovered that she was pregnant. Unfortunately, Janice miscarried prior to commencing radiation therapy; however her cancer treatments were a success.
Janice had been in remission for over two decades and had two beautiful children with her husband, renowned musician Lawrence Gowan, when she discovered a lump in her breast in December 2011.
After having the lump removed at the Centenary campus of Rouge Valley Health System, her family doctor, Dr. Tom Bacher, referred her to The Scarborough Hospital’s Cancer Care program for her chemotherapy.
“I had no idea that The Scarborough Hospital had such an amazing oncology program,” says Janice.
“I was under the care of Dr. Henry Krieger and from my very first appointment he and all the staff made me feel so comfortable and informed about what to expect during my treatment.
“You might expect a cancer clinic to be a gloomy place, but at The Scarborough Hospital everyone is always smiling and though they are a thoroughly professional team, they create a really light hearted environment,” she adds.
Janice suffered from constant dehydration during her chemotherapy. As well, she required a special central venous catheter to deliver her medicine when she began to have problems receiving it through a regular intravenous needle.
“I was in the hospital a lot, both for my treatment and to deal with the side effects. But every time I arrived, all the nurses were so caring and accommodating,” she stresses.
Janice, an animation artist by trade who lives in the Bluffs area of Scarborough, also found it “so, so helpful” to be just a 10 minute drive from the General campus. “Having such a compassionate and talented cancer team so close to home made all the difference to me.”
As she reflects on having beaten cancer for the second time in her life, Janice points to her “pragmatic, organized, ‘can do’ attitude” as important in getting her through. But just as essential was “a faith in my healthcare team that gave me faith in myself that I could survive this.
“The human touch from everyone at The Scarborough Hospital was there for me throughout every phase of my cancer care journey.”