Suzanne Broman, 55, remembers her first meeting with Harrington HealthCare Oncologist Dr. Chris Seidler and breast surgeon Dr. Colette Whitby.
“I immediately felt confident in choosing Harrington,” she said. “Sometimes, you just know.”
Broman, who grew up in North Brookfield, always had a positive perception of Harrington’s services. After receiving her routine mammogram at Harrington’s medical office building in Charlton, she was called back for a second scan and ultimately a breast biopsy (where she noted the radiologists were “just wonderful”).
Her diagnosis was HER 2 Positive Hormone Receptor Negative – Stage 1 Breast Cancer.
Once she met with Dr. Whitby and Dr. Seidler, she knew Harrington would provide the care she needed. Broman, who admits she’s not into computers much anyway, didn’t even take to Google.
“When you’re considering having a breast removed, it’s not something you look up on the Internet. You want to talk to your doctors,” she said.
After her mastectomy, some of her friends were curious to know if she was getting a second opinion. Broman never felt the need, but discussed her options with Dr. Seidler.
“He was very supportive. In fact, he made my appointment for me in Boston,” she smiled. “And I went. But to be honest, it was kind of a waste of my time. They told me the treatment I was being offered in Southbridge was the same treatment they would recommend for me out there.”
Broman completed a year of treatments – including low-dose chemotherapy once a week for three months, and then infusion every three weeks for a year.
She said of the staff, “They became like family.” Especially her infusion nurse, Mary. “We just clicked.”
Mary would save pretty pillows for Suzanne’s visits. They talked about each other’s families.
“They made me so comfortable that I didn’t even bring anyone with me to my appointments,” Broman said. “I didn’t need anyone to hold my hand or watch my sleep – I had the staff.”
Broman completed her treatments in November 2016, and Dr. Seidler cautioned her it would feel odd to suddenly not come to the center regularly.
“He was right,” she said. “I miss seeing everyone; it feels odd not to come anymore, to not have people around as often.”
In the end, Broman stressed it wasn’t just the location close to home that made her stay with The Cancer Center at Harrington.
“Convenience is important – but treatment and care override the distance traveled,” she said. “If I thought the care was bad here, I would have gone straight to Dana Farber. But I never felt that way. I trusted them. I was taken care of very well.”