Life for Stella Nolan-Thompson was quite normal. Stella was a busy wife, mother of two, and a corporate events planner for a well-known financial institution. On many occasions Stella found herself consumed with the day-to-day activities as many women today feel.
Despite juggling work, home and civic obligations, Stella did it all with a smile. “As chaotic as my life sounds, I loved it and wouldn’t trade it for the world, said Stella. I’m not any different than my sister, neighbor, co-worker or any other working mother of today. It’s who we are, we are pioneers and we are resilient.”
In December 2008, Stella was given the devastating news that brought a halt to her busy life. Stella was diagnosed with Stage-1 invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer commonly referred as IDC. IDC is a type of cancer that starts in the milk ducts of the breast and spreads to other areas of the body. IDC is the most common breast cancer diagnosis and accounts for about eight out of 10 of all invasive breast cancers today. This type of breast cancer can be found in men as well as women, and can occur at any age. Most patients with IDC are 55 or older at diagnosis.
Just two days before Stella’s 50th birthday, she found comfort and treatment at Little Company of Mary’s Nationally Accredited Comprehensive Breast Health Center. Stella received chemotherapy, MammoSite® radiation, lumpectomy, and hormone therapy.
“After undergoing a lumpectomy, Stella received partial breast radiation. This administers radiation using a balloon from within the breast over the course of five days. This is much shorter than the standard five to six weeks course of treatment using external beam radiation and has fewer side effects,” said Dr. Nancy Taft, a fellowship trained breast surgeon and medical director of the Comprehensive Breast Center at LCMH.
Four years after Stella’s battle with cancer, she is cancer free and is taking the time to stop and smell the roses. Stella decided to become a stay-at-home wife and mother. “I’m taking this experience as a wake-up call to relax and enjoy life. Life is so precious and we often take it for granted,” said Stella. Stella decided to pursue her lifelong passion to create handcrafted jewelry. Many of her stylish creations feature breast cancer awareness charms to remind women that they are resilient and beautiful-no matter what curve balls life throws at them.
October 24, 2012, marked the opening of the new LCM Comprehensive Women’s Center for Life and Health, which continues to address women’s health and wellness and provide forward-thinking, gender-sensitive healthcare for women of all ages. A first-of-its kind for the area, the Women’s Center also is home to LCM’s Comprehensive Breast Health Center, accredited by the NAPBC (National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers), which offers a full range of diagnostic care specialists, surgeons and radiation oncologists.
This NAPBC accreditation is only given to a select few centers across the country that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care. The Center also offers an array of integrative therapy services, such as acupuncture, massage therapy and post-treatment esthetic care.
Please join us for the 14th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013. The walk starts at 8:00a.m. at Ridge Park located on 96th and Longwood, Chicago, Illinois. Register early to receive a t-shirt with your $30 entry fee. The entry fee for children ages 18 and under is $15. Same-day registration is $10 more for adults and $5 for children (18yrs and under) and t-shirt availability is not guaranteed. All proceeds benefit Little Company of Mary’s Nationally Accredited Comprehensive Breast Health Center. The Accredited Comprehensive Breast Health Center provides the latest technology and treatment approaches from an expert, caring medical team led by Breast Surgeon, Dr. Nancy Taft.
For more information or to register for the 14th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk please visit www.beverlybreastcancerwalk.org or call 708.229.5066. For more information on Little Company of Mary’s Nationally Accredited Comprehensive Breast Health Center or Dr. Nancy Taft, please visit www.myhealthmyjourney.com or call 708.229.4050. To schedule a mammogram call 708.499.8550.
Stella Nolan-Thompson at Little Company of Mary’s Nationally Accredited Comprehensive Breast Health Center