Sisters Cami Green and Kristi Hardie were both diagnosed with breast cancer, and credit the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership in Everett for providing excellent care close to home.
EVERETT — When Cami Green was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, the mother of two says she was devastated and scared.
When she saw the nurses approaching, she kept asking: “Do I have cancer?” When they got her into a private room to deliver the news, it was overwhelming.
“When we got into that room, I was literally vomiting and shaking… They had to call my family because I couldn’t take in any more information. They called (my sister) Kristi on a conference call because she couldn’t be there.”
It was Kristi who’d prompted her sister to have the small, hard lump checked out after a friend described what her own lump felt like. “I told her she needed to go get it checked out immediately,” says Kristi.
Little did Cami know, that wouldn’t be the most devastating news she’d face concerning cancer, because her younger sister would eventually receive the same diagnosis.
“I remember you [Cami] being almost more upset with my diagnosis than I was,” Kristi recounts about the moment she shared the news with Cami. Kristi, wife and mother of three, describes the moment she received her diagnosis of breast cancer as “terrifying.” “I immediately had to hand over the computer to my husband… It was hard.” Kristi is currently undergoing cancer treatment.
No one thought Kristi would receive such a diagnosis that day, because she’d always dealt with lumps, and they’d always been noncancerous. They assumed this diagnosis would be like the others.
“If I wouldn’t have been enrolled in the High-Risk Clinic here, I would probably be dead. The High-Risk Clinic saved me, for sure,” says Kristi.
The Comprehensive Breast Center High Risk Clinic manages breast care for those with a family history of breast cancer or for those with high levels of breast lesions. Kristi started going to the High-Risk Clinic every year once her sister was diagnosed.
The clinic offers same day appointments with all oncology physicians at the Cancer Partnership— a partnership between Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, The Everett Clinic, Western Washington Medical Group, and Northwest Washington Radiation Oncology Associates.
The sisters consider themselves best friends, and when asked what pain they wish they could take from the other, they both said fear.
Kristi and Cami both add that the fear never goes away, and you learn to live with it, but the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Cancer Partnership eased some of their anxiety about the journey ahead.
“I’ve never ever, ever, ever had a bad experience here. From the very beginning, it’s been nothing but nice,” says Cami of their experience with the Cancer Partnership.
The sisters found reassurance and solace at the Cancer Partnership while working with medical oncologist Peter Jiang, M.D. Cami laughingly adds, “He might be a family member by now.”
After witnessing the care taken with Cami by the doctors and nurses, Kristi was eager to pick her own team that included Dr. Jiang. “I know them. I know the nurses,” says Kristi.
Cami, who is now in remission, adds, “I’ve developed friendships.” Kristi was excited to find that one of the nurses on her team was a friend.
Marilyn Birchman, Regional Director of Cancer Services Research, states, “We want people in Everett and Snohomish County to know the best care they can get is here. They don’t have to travel all the way to Seattle.”
To learn more about the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership, call (425) 297-5500 or visit www.cancerpartnership.org.