Lauren: Finding and Sharing Comfort
Finding Comfort in Family
When Lauren, a 25-year-old graduate student in clinical psychology, learned she had cervical cancer, she was in complete shock.
"I always went to my routine appointments and had regular pap smears — how could I go from normal to having cervical cancer in just one year?" she questioned. Looking for comfort and guidance, Lauren did what many young women in this situation would do — she called her Mom.
Lauren's mom had previously experienced horrible uterine fibroids and was not a stranger to complex gynecologic conditions. Years earlier, her mother had been treated at The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy by Dr. Neil Rosenshein. The experience turned out to be positive and has led to a long-term, patient-physician relationship. Lauren couldn't dream of going to any other physician for treatment.
Traveling a Distance to Seek Comfort From the Right Doctor
Lauren was living away from home in Chicago at the time of her diagnosis, but the distance to Baltimore was not a factor in her mind. She wanted to receive the best care she could, so she traveled to see Dr. Rosenshein at Mercy.
Faced with losing her uterus at just 25 years old, Lauren found solace in the compassion and understanding provided by Dr. Rosenshein and his staff. Fortunately for Lauren, Dr. Rosenshein was able to preserve her ovaries.
"Many young women facing the loss of a uterus tell me they feel their lives are over," expressed Dr. Rosenshein. "Our goal is to help women find hope." For Lauren, there was a happy, fulfilling life after cancer. Dr. Rosenshein was able to preserve her ovaries and years later, with the help of a surrogate, she became the proud mother of twins.
"Given her experience and background [in psychology], she's been our go-to person to speak with young women who are faced with a diagnosis like she had," said Elaine Vaughn, a nurse in The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy.
"I love that Elaine and Dr. Rosenshein are so in tune with the kind of support a young woman needs. They understand that there is an emotional side that needs to be treated, not just a physical side," Lauren said.
Helping Others Find Comfort
Lauren now serves as a patient advocate and uses this special role to be a support for other young women being treated at The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy.
"Though she lives in Memphis now, Lauren travels to Baltimore to meet with young women [who have gynecologic cancer] to let them know there are options and there is hope," Dr. Rosenshein said. "Our goal is to someday eliminate cancer as a diagnosis. Until then, we will give our patients the very best care possible with a healthy dose of compassion, hope and heart."
Lauren's Treatment Team