Stefanie's Story: An Outcome to Celebrate

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October 8, 2020

Stefanie's Story: An Outcome to Celebrate

“I felt a little lump so let’s be cautious and get this tested, just in case,” Stefanie Taylor’s doctor told her after a routine OB-GYN breast exam.

Stefanie agreed, assuming the lump may have something to do with breastfeeding her daughter. A few days after the tests, Stefanie received a call she would never forget: she had HER2-positive breast cancer.

“My whole world turned upside down,” Stefanie says. “I was 30-years old. I didn’t drink. I didn’t smoke. I didn’t need to lose weight. I didn’t have a genetic history of breast cancer in my family.”

What Stefanie did have was a devoted husband, a bubbly one-year-old daughter, and a life that was pretty close to perfect. And one phone call changed everything.

Stefanie’s cancer was caught early, but it was aggressive. She knew right away she wanted treatment at a place she trusted most. A place where her mother-in-law worked as a nurse for over 30 years. The very place where she received exceptional care when her daughter was born: Holy Redeemer Hospital.

Two weeks later, Stefanie began her breast cancer journey. To prepare for six rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, she asked her husband to help shave her head and went wig shopping for the first time. The chemotherapy landed her in bed for a week at a time and interfered with the holiday season—underscoring the sad truth that cancer knows no boundaries.“

"After my chemo treatments, I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction and 12 rounds of additional immunotherapy,” Stefanie says. “One of the great things I noticed about Holy Redeemer throughout my cancer journey was how my care was coordinated among my doctors. My oncologist, breast surgeon, and plastic surgeon all worked as a team to create and follow a comprehensive treatment plan. It made my journey so much easier!”

Ultimately, the sum of Stefanie’s care and treatment led to a celebratory outcome. The chemotherapy worked. The surgery was a success. And Stefanie recently wrapped up her last infusion. Surrounded by the cancer team and her pink pompom-clad daughter, she joyfully participated in a cherished rite of cancer survivors all over the world: ringing a ceremonial bell that signifies the end of treatment.

Stefanie credits her recovery to the extraordinary support she received from Redeemer’s cancer team—a group of caring and compassionate practitioners—who stood by her through every peak and valley. The Bucks County Breast Friends support group and its offshoot, Young Breast Friends, also made a big difference in her life.

“My mother-in-law went to the Breast Friends meeting with me,” Stefanie says. “It was a little overwhelming. I had just cut my hair and shaved my head, but everyone was so supportive. I met another young cancer patient, and we’d text back and forth to check on each other.”

Today, Stefanie feels ready and energized to focus on her life as a devoted mother and wife and to provide inspiration and encouragement to other breast cancer patients any way she can.

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