I’ve just received the news that every woman dreads; I have breast cancer. I was very upset not only scared but really mad. How could this happen? There must be a mistake. I do my regular breast exams every month and no one in my family history has ever had breast cancer. What did I do wrong?

In steps the Mayo Breast Clinic. I meet with their breast cancer specialist and she explains to me everything I need to know about my unfortunate disease. She also provides me with a binder notebook “Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic Patient Education.” complete with everyone’s business cards, a complete breast cancer description, questions, a diagram of where my breast cancer is located and a pad of paper on which I can write out any other questions I might have. Included in the binder is a large handbook that answers and describes everything and anything a patient would want to know about breast cancer. They even include a section on how to explain your disease to family and friends. The last pages of this handbook are a glossary of breast cancer terminology and their meanings; written in a simple language that anyone can understand.

My appointments are handled quickly and efficiently that day and I am scheduled for a lumpectomy in four days. The great part of it was the efficiency of their IT department. I had a problem with my scheduling with my healthcare policy but thank goodness the healthcare IT consultants were able to help me out. Not much time to think and dwell on my future; which is fantastic for me. I want to know and I want to know now.

My son and I check into the pre-operative floor at the Mayo Hospital and I am immediately taken to a pre-operative room. After many doctors and nurses have examined and questioned me, I am told to undress and put on this paper gown. I know my surgery is being done on an outpatient basis; but really, they couldn’t give me a cloth gown? As the nurse starts my IV she reaches under the bed and pulls out a hose (like on a vacuum cleaner) and attaches it to the bottom of my paper gown. All of a sudden warm air engulfs my entire body and I am in comfort heaven. The gown is really two sheets of paper and in-between the warm air continues to flow. I totally relax.

In the meantime my son waits patiently in the waiting room. He has been given a card with my name and case number on it. Throughout the waiting areas there are electronic marquees and my case number is coded in a colored light: Pink: I’m in pre-operative room Green: I’m in the operating room Yellow: I’m in the recovery room Blue: I’m ready to go home

This surgical method/system has not only made me more relaxed and comfortable but it also relived the tension my son was feeling; because he knew exactly where I was and what was happening to me. I truly believe that Mayo Hospital and Mayo Breast Cancer Clinic is the most technologically advance health sector in the world. Breast cancer surgery has evolved into a five star experience.