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Susette Bollard

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Susette Bollard

For Susette, being diagnosed with breast cancer changed everything except her will to fight it. 

Days after surgery to remove a tumor in my breast, I was driving home from work when my doctor called. An appointment had already been set up to discuss my diagnosis, but he felt I’d want to hear the news sooner rather than later. After asking him to wait until I could pull over, he told me I had cancer. My world was turned upside down. 

I was encouraged to ask questions, but when you’re the mother of three grown boys, you learn not to ask questions you’re not prepared to hear the answers for. I needed time to absorb the news that my tumor was malignant.

But I soon found comfort in the comprehensive team approach provided by CVMC physicians and other specialists in the UVM Health Network. They all got together and collaborated to find the right plan of treatment, and before long, I was on a first-name basis with all the nurses and doctors who became like family to me. It was a huge team effort.

Despite not knowing my future, I never felt alone. They always made me feel secure and taken care of both physically and emotionally.

~Susette Bollard

Even though I was seeing lots of different specialists, whenever I met with someone it was obvious they had all talked about me and my case beforehand. They were great at helping me understand what I’d be going through and it felt so good knowing I had a whole group of people rooting for me.

I began a six-month regimen of treatment involving chemotherapy and radiation with a little time for rest and recover in between. While excellent quality of care and the latest treatments were instrumental in my fight against cancer, their location close to where I live also helped. Being treated near work and home made all the difference. I also took advantage of other services at CVMC like nutritional counseling and Reiki. The acupuncture was especially helpful in counteracting neuropathy, a common side effect of cancer. They even helped me with my makeup and hair.

I felt like the center of the universe at CVMC. Despite not knowing my future, I never felt alone. They always made me feel secure and taken care of both physically and emotionally. And even though I wasn’t so sure about the future then, thanks to my doctors and the healing they provided, I can feel confident about it now.