• Cancer

    In the Loop: Breast cancer brings her to Mayo and care team brings her back

patient Elizabeth Vines with her Mayo care team

After she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Elizabeth Vines sought a second opinion — and eventually, treatment — at Mayo Clinic. "I was looking for a miracle," Elizabeth says.

Elizabeth Vines had planned to spend the afternoon Christmas shopping. Instead, after an unexpected report from her doctor, she spent it absorbing the life-changing news that she had breast cancer. "I felt like I couldn't breathe," she says. "I was shocked."

Elizabeth, then just 35, had discovered a pea-sized lump in her breast early in 2014. When she mentioned the lump to her family doctor, "he said I was young, healthy and had no family history, so didn't need to worry about it," she tells us. Six months later, the lump began to grow rapidly, reaching the size of half a lemon over six weeks. An ultrasound indicated a cyst. Though she was told the growth was non-cancerous, Elizabeth wanted it removed.

"I had a diagnostic mammogram when I went to meet with the surgeon, and right then and there they told me I had cancer," she says. After additional imaging exams the next day, Elizabeth was told she needed to begin chemotherapy immediately. But she was unable to schedule an appointment for the treatment near her home in Vancouver until after the holidays. That's when she called Mayo Clinic.
Read the rest of Elizabeth's story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.