The care I received meant I could carry on more or less as normal throughout cancer treatment

The care I received meant I could carry on more or less as normal throughout cancer treatmentMonday 19 June 2017

Julia Hewitt, aged 46 from Chelmsford, had no idea that she had breast cancer until months after finding a large lump in her breast.  She says: “The lump was initially diagnosed as a cyst and was really just an inconvenience at first as I had to keep attending the breast clinic at Broomfield Hospital. I didn’t experience any pain, although wearing a bra was slightly uncomfortable and so I just got on with my everyday life without really thinking about it.”

The cyst was aspirated numerous times but kept breaking through the skin and wouldn’t heal.  So some eight months later, and now under the care of Mr Simon Smith, Consultant Breast Surgeon, the decision was made to surgically remove the cyst.  As Julia had private medical insurance through her London job as a Commercial Affairs Co-ordinator for a trade association, she choose to have the surgery privately at Springfield Hospital, in Chelmsford, where Mr Smith also practices. 

Julia describes Mr Smith as “brilliant” saying: “I felt so safe in his hands and trusted that whatever he needed to do, he was doing it for the very best.  From the first time I met him, he put me and my husband completely at ease. He manages to explain everything in easy to understand language and answers all the questions, however silly. He’s so down to earth but positive which was good when giving bad news. I would thoroughly recommend him to anyone……his handiwork as a surgeon is something to be admired – so neat and tidy.”

After removing and testing the lump it was discovered that it was in fact cancerous so later that month Julia had a therapeutic mammoplasty, to remove the breast cancer and reconstruct the remaining breast, and sentinel lymph node removal.  A second operation was necessary to fully remove the lymph nodes before Julia could start an arduous course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy under the care of Consultant Oncologist, Professor Neville Davidson also at Springfield Hospital.

“The experience, whilst not pleasant, would’ve been so much worse if it wasn’t for the team at Springfield.  A special mention to all the chemo nurses who looked after me, I really felt that they knew me as a person rather than just another patient. They also made sure that my husband was included in all the treatment processes which was good for him.  In fact all the nurses were brilliant – as were the lovely ladies delivering the food/drinks who were always smiling and couldn’t do enough.”  

For information see our Cancer Treatment pages or call us on 01245 234040.

One year on from her diagnosis and Julia is still under the care of Mr Smith and Prof Davidson.  It could be said that life has returned to normal except that in her words “the treatment I received from all those at Springfield meant that I had the confidence to more or less carry on my life throughout my treatment.”


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