I write this post looking back on what was one of the hardest parts of this cancer journey: finding the right partners to run the race with you. What makes me qualified to pick a cancer doctor? Nothing. Ultimately, I know God led us to just the right people. If you will permit me, I’d love to brag about the team God gave us, in the hopes that someone where we were a couple of months ago may benefit…
The Breast Surgeon
We found Dr Canavan by literally Googling for “plano breast surgeon.” We had been referred to a different breast surgeon by Holly’s OB/GYN, and only went to Dr Canavan for what we thought was a routine second opinion.
What we found was that our first surgeon had really dropped the ball, and grossly misjudged the extent of the cancer. When we switched to Dr. Canavan we found that trips to the doctor went from being full of fear and uncertainty to being full of peace and confidence in the next steps.
She truly has the heart of a teacher and was always available for every question. She went to great lengths to educate us and would always show us, not just tell us, what was going on.
The other great thing about Dr. Canavan’s office is Gaynelle, her scheduler. Gaynelle schedules every appointment with every doctor, every testing center, every hospital — she just makes it happen magically. You can’t imagine how much easier that makes the whole process.
The Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon
Once we knew Holly needed a mastectomy we started the process of picking a plastic surgeon. While you might think that Plano, TX has the highest concentration of Plastic Surgeons per square inch, but it turns out very few do reconstruction. There’s just not much money in it.
That’s why finding Dr. Young was such a God-send. Like Dr. Canavan, she actually took the time to teach us all the reconstructive options. The first time we left her office, we knew we had found the right reconstructive surgeon, we just had to pick the right procedure for us.
Once we decided on the DIEP flap, her scheduler worked to clear a whole day for Dr Young to do the procedure. That morning we got to pray with and for her, and afterward she told us it was prayer that sustained her through the 13.5 hour surgery. Where she gets the endurance to push through such a long surgery, I have no idea.
She was always sensitive to Holly and us as her family. She had the nurse call out every hour or two to give us an update, so we didn’t get too worried. She did a great job helping to control the pain afterward, including inserting a local pain pump to numb the area.
Oh, did I mention she did b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l job with the reconstruction! She has a gift (and amazing staff like Dr. Canavan).
The Nurses at Baylor Plano
If you look on US News and World Report or National Cancer Institute there doesn’t seem to be a clear hospital leader for cancer care the Dallas area. However, I will tell you from our experience, Baylor Plano is the place to be for breast cancer care in Dallas.
First off they have the most advanced diagnostic equipment, and the two rockstar doctors above prefer to do surgery there. That should be enough. But they never ceased to amaze us at going above and beyond in caring for the patients and their families.
When we showed up for surgery at 5:00 am the most friendly woman named Robin met us at the front door to escort us the surgery floor. Who does that?
Even the food was pretty good — they call it room service and it’s pretty much whatever you wanted delivered when you wanted it. They even had free wifi throughout so Holly could make a Skype video call to her brother in Hawaii.
Those are little things, but really nice touches. The big thing was the staff — specifically the nurses. We didn’t have one nurse who was not full of compassion, attentive, and just generally great to be around. They always did there best to control Holly’s pain, teach us to take care of her, and make our stay the best it could be.
Thank you to Dr. Canavan, Dr. Young and all the nurses at Baylor Plano. God used you to heal my wife and do it better than we ever could have hoped for.
I hope this helps you if you are ever in need of Breast Cancer Care in Dallas. Of course, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if we can help in any way.