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Meet Paula Cote-Uminski
“Complicated” couldn’t begin to describe Paula Uminski’s healthcare needs after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2010. Paula’s case was so unusually complex that she called her self Miss Abby Normal.
Paula was able to keep her sense of humor thanks to her team of doctors, nurses and social workers at Cambridge Health Alliance. When her treatment began at the Cambridge Breast Center, she discovered she was allergic to many of the medications in her chemotherapy. And that was only the beginning… Throughout her illness, she was admitted to the emergency room 11 times, had to come in for fluids every two or three days, developed sarcoids in her lungs and neuropathy in her hands and feet.
It’s been a long and trying road to recovery for Paula, but the carefully facilitated care she has received has made her many appointments, procedures and treatments seamless. “I sing the praises of CHA and the Cambridge Breast Center everyday. It’s not just a 15 minute appointment; it’s however long it takes to evaluate my concerns.” Before coming to the Breast Center, Paula had been a primary care patient at CHA for many years, and got all her healthcare specialty services at CHA as well. When her tumor was discovered, Paula says it was a no-brainer who would treat her cancer. She had already seen first-hand the genuine determination to provide the best possible care for her.
The Breast Center team has become like family to Paula. “I’ve had long blonde hair, I’ve had no hair and they always make me feel welcomed and beautiful.” Paula especially appreciates that she feels involved in her treatment and that her voice is heard. She says of Breast Center nurse practitioner, Denise Landrigan, “Even when I’m not coming in to see Denise, she pulls me aside and wants to know how I’m doing. She listens with her heart.”
It’s moments of personal connection like these that make CHA special to Paula. These are reasons why she would never dream of going anywhere else. Her cancer is in remission now and she continues to receive follow-up services from CHA. Paula is so thankful to be alive. She exclaims with the enthusiasm that only a survivor can have, “You guys are the best! That’s the way I look at it.”
Your generous support helps us fund important services such as those offered at the Cambridge Breast Center.