A sense of urgency, no matter what

An OHSU Breast Center Patient Story - by Gainor

When I found a lump, I went to the Breast Center at OHSU. I was so impressed with how I was treated and the sense of urgency there—I showed up at 2 p.m., and by 4 p.m. I’d had a thorough exam, ultrasound, mammogram, a needle biopsy, and the results. The good news is that I was fine—and completely impressed.

But I’d thought the Breast Center was only for circumstances like these: emergencies.

I was wrong.

Sometime later, I had read that if you have dense breast tissue, mammograms may be difficult to read. My daughter is a nurse practitioner, and she’d heard an OHSU nurse practitioner speak at a conference and was really impressed, so I made second appointment at the Breast Center.

The nurse practitioner at OHSU was amazing. She gave me the most thorough exam I’d ever had. She found two suspicious lumps, and I had an ultrasound right away. Thankfully I was fine, but the nurse practitioner and I talked in detail about my family history—my mom had breast cancer—and she had me see a genetic specialist and an oncologist, so we could all come up with a proactive plan of action. So now, in addition to my annual mammogram, I see the nurse practitioner every six months for a breast exam.

What I find so impressive is the remarkable thoroughness and the follow-through. the nurse practitioner finds things that I—or anyone else—had never felt. We don’t sit around and wait to see if anything changes; we act first. It’s just night and day from going in for a regular checkup.

The nurse practitioner is so professional, but she’s also very compassionate. She never rushes you out; she always gives you all the time you need. I never felt that the clock was ticking and I had to get out of there.

When I think about OHSU, I think about advanced medical care. I think about the true compassion of the professionals there, and how lucky I am to be in Portland where it’s all so accessible. I feel very fortunate for that.