NEWPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) —In April of 2009, Gwen Cushing found a lump in her right breast.

It turned out to be stage 2 cancer. When she suffered a reaction to her first treatment, she was forced to have an emergency mastectomy.

“It was the correct decision,” she says, “because the cancer was very active and had spread to one of my lymph nodes.”

Three years later, Gwen had her left breast removed when some atypical cells were found. Afterward, she had reconstructive surgery on both breasts.

Through it all, there was one person by her side for each and every one of the countless medical appointments she had – her husband.

Gwen says every breast cancer patient needs to buddy-up. Her advice to all people battling breast cancer is to bring a buddy to all your doctors appointments to help take notes and sift through the information.

For Gwen it was her husband who went to every appointment. But she says it doesn't have to be a spouse; a friend, a family member, a kind neighbor will be a great help to the patient.

For Gwen it was crucial for her to have buddy as she navigated through her diagnosis and treatment.