Hendrick’s Breast Institute Nurse Navigators stay with breast cancer patients from diagnosis to recovery


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A breast cancer diagnosis can bring hundreds of questions, and sometimes talking with a doctor about each one can seem overwhelming. At Hendrick Medical Center’s Breast Institute, there is a program that pairs a nurse with a patient to help them navigate through each step of the process.

“There’s just nothing like sitting in that room waiting, you know, for somebody to tell you what’s wrong,” breast cancer patient Callie Metler said.

Four words no one ever wants to hear: “you have breast cancer.”

“I’m 38. I never thought that I would be sitting in a room with somebody telling me I had cancer. You know, three days before that I was just fine, we were celebrating our anniversary,” Metler said.

Callie first heard those words March 7, and says as the fear starts running through your mind, so do the questions.

“Am I going to have to have radiation, what is going to happen next, what are the steps, when am I going to meet the oncologist? I can’t even tell you the questions that I had,” Metler said.

At Hendrick Medical Center’s Breast Institute, there is someone there to help you each step of the way. They’re called Nurse Navigators.

“I am there just to hold people’s hands, just to get them through the process,” Nurse Navigator Andrea Martin said.

Andrea is one of three at Hendrick Breast Institute, and has been right by Callie’s side for each doctor’s appointment, treatment, you name it.

“She came in and was like, ‘Here we go,’ you know, and she had a smile on her face and she had the heart-shaped pillow, which became like my security blanket through everything,” Metler said.

If Callie has a question or concern when Andrea isn’t at arm’s reach, well she’s just a text or phone call away.

“Anything that happens to your body, it doesn’t matter how silly or stupid it is, you’re just like, so paying attention to every detail,” Metler said.

“Everybody is always on my radar, and I always have a cellphone, they can always call or text me anytime,” Martin said.

Through more than six months of constant communication, these two have become much more than just nurse and patient.

“Just getting to be there for them through the good times and bad times. I get so much more from them than I ever give to them,” Martin said.

Callie is nearing the end of her treatments with only three chemo therapy sessions left. Both Callie and Andrea say they will keep in touch.

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