"What? I have breast cancer,” Teri McClain remembers thinking. Teri was like most who learn they have breast cancer—completely caught off guard. She drinks five cups of green tea a day, eats kale salads and steel cut oats and doesn’t smoke or drink.
After discovering a lump while in the shower, Teri contacted her naturopath who confirmed her concerns and then gave her a list of places to consider going to for care. She then chose the Swedish Cancer Institute.
At this point in Teri’s life she was managing through hard times. She had recently lost her dad, had shoulder surgery and then breast cancer. It was suggested to Teri that despite the smile she wore and the positive vibes she put out that she seek out support. So that’s exactly what she did. Teri sought out support from everyone.
She found immense comfort in telling people what she was coping with and how she was feeling. “When you open up about breast cancer and put it out there, you become part of an amazing community, you help one another and get inspired,” she says.
During Teri’s visits with her medical team, she realized the tremendous resources available to patients at the Swedish Cancer Institute. Not only did her care team provide her needed comfort, there were classes like art and music therapy, meditation and knitting, and Teri participates in all of these classes and makes an effort to connect with as many people as possible.
Beyond the excellent care from her medical team, Teri believes these support groups and her involvement are a key factor in helping her manage her cancer day-to-day with the most positive outlook possible.
“I would choose Swedish all over again, knowing what I know now,” she shared. “Having breast cancer has been a life changing experience and through cancer therapy I have learned what true wellness is. I am thankful for Swedish and am so fortunate to have all of these resources in my backyard.”