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  • Breast Cancer: Marcia

Breast Cancer: Marcia

Comfort, convenience and collaboration eases breast cancer journey

Marcia & Dr. Ofearo

Marcia meeting one-on-one with her
oncologist, Hilary Ufearo, MBBS, during
her multidisciplinary cancer clinic visit.

Four years after her husband died from leukemia, Marcia O’Konek, of St. Cloud, received a kidney transplant. Throughout dialysis and recovery, Marcia still worked as a nurse educator in surgery to support her two children, ages 5 and 9. When reflecting on this time of her life, one would expect to hear about her struggle. Instead, Marcia beams gratitude and strength.

“I still pray for the family who donated the organ. Without their generosity and the hard work of my nephrologist, Dr. Leither, I wouldn’t be here today. I am so grateful.”

Eight years later, Marcia was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and received chemotherapy. Her treatment went well and she was back to good health for the next 20 years. Recently, through a self-breast exam, Marcia, 70, discovered a lump. The biopsy showed the cancer was back. Care Coordinator Amy Stolt, RN, called Marcia to deliver the news and inform her of Coborn Cancer Center’s new multidisciplinary cancer clinic available for breast cancer patients.

“This new process was less overwhelming, much more comfortable and very educational,” Marcia said. In just one sitting, Marcia met with her care coordinator, surgeon, geneticist and oncologist. “I can’t imagine anyone more kind or thorough than my oncologist, Dr. Ufearo. We went over everything ahead of time. I felt prepared. I knew what to expect. Everything was taken care of so calmly and clearly. It made such a difference.”

The surgeon explained how they would be removing both breasts and offered reconstruction to Marcia as an option. Marcia kindly declined reconstruction and replied with laughter, “I’ve always hated bras.” Marcia liked how everything took place in that one visit. She wanted to take care of it right away and that’s just what this new program allowed her to do. She scheduled her surgery for that Monday.

After losing her hair, Marcia was offered complimentary caps and wigs. “These were donated — I just can’t believe the generosity,” she said. “I still go out for lunch with my friends. This hasn’t stopped me at all. I wear my wigs and hats and I just love it. I don’t care what anybody thinks. At home, I just go bareheaded. I have a very nice smooth head,” she joked.

Marcia’s positivity and cheerful spirit remained unhindered throughout her journey. She’s thankful to feel healthy and enjoys reading, embroidering, watching ball games and spending time with friends, family and her four grandchildren. She smiles and says, “If I wouldn’t have had this outstanding treatment and care, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic

Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic

The multidisciplinary cancer clinic at Coborn Cancer Center minimizes the time between breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. During a single visit, in a comforting environment, patients meet with a team of experts and together select a high-quality, unified treatment plan. This multidisciplinary approach means patients receive personalized cancer treatment by a team of physicians and health care professionals such as surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, genetic counselors, nurses, pathologists and radiologists.

Contact Us

General Information

Nurse Advisor

Medical Oncology Referrals
320-229-4902, ext. 70698
Fax: 320-200-3252

Radiation Referrals
320-229-4900, ext. 70840
Fax: 320-229-5003

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