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  • Patient Letters—May 18, 2008

  • "My wife and I are tremendously thankful."

    We are writing this letter in regard to the assistance provided to us by Maria Esther Llanos from the Breast Health Navigation Program at Rhode Island Hospital.

    My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2007. As you can imagine, this was a very difficult time for us. After much discussion with family and friends, we decided to go to a breast surgeon who was associated with the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Rhode Island Hospital.

    At first our experience was one of confusion. Trying to make appointments, schedule tests and get results was far more complicated than anticipated. My wife felt overwhelmed. When we went to the Cancer Center for an appointment with our oncologist, we met Ms. Llanos and were asked if we would like her to assist us as a breast health navigator during the various phases of treatment. It would not be an exaggeration to say that she has been a godsend.

    As anyone who deals with this illness knows, there is much information to digest, many things to consider, and many decisions to make. The process can be, and is, overwhelming. Ms. Llanos has been invaluable in providing us with general information as well as obtaining specific information for us from various doctors involved when we required it. She has also handled scheduling all of the many appointments required and has assisted Sandra when new symptoms have occurred and new medication has been required. Her reliability/dependability and efficiency formed the basis of a very effective support relationship with us as well as our family members.

    In addition to all of her assistance, she has also provided us with both moral support and encouragement. Her upbeat, compassionate nature and support is exactly what is needed at this time; these are characteristics not easily found in an individual. She has certainly made this difficult journey more bearable and is a great asset to this very important program.

    My wife and I are tremendously thankful that this program has been available to us. We are grateful to Rhode Island Hospital for caring about their cancer patients at this very difficult time and to Avon for providing the funding for this most important program.