When NEWS CENTER Maine started Buddy to Buddy, the idea was for women to partner up and remind each other to do their monthly self breast exams. Beverly Wyse of Cumberland reminds us that it's also important to have a buddy come with you to all of your appointments when you're being tested or treated for cancer.
Wyse remembers clearly the day she went to get the results of her biopsy. Hoping for the best but prepared for the worst, her sister Barbara Whitten came along for the ride. When the results turned out to be positive for cancer, Beverly says she went into shock. "Even if you're the smartest person in the world, you're thinking all the time the doctor is talking to you, 'Am I going to die. Is this cancer going to spread? Are they going to get it all?' You know, you're just not fully there," says Wyse.
Fortunately, Whitten was there, not only for emotional support, but to listen carefully and take notes. And she continued to be there all the way through Wyse's surgery and treatments.
Whitten's presence proved especially valuable as Wyse was preparing to start radiation therapy and was prescribed an estrogen blocking medication by her medical oncologist. "She told both of us that you can take this as long as you can tolerate it," Wyse explains, "And I didn't hear that. I thought that I had to stay on it for five years. And I had every side effect that the drug had. And my sister said to me 'Beverly, she said that you could go off it if you aren't tolerating it.' And I didn't even hear that. I only heard that I had to stay on it because it was going to make my chances of not getting cancer a lot higher. And so she heard that and I didn't even hear it."
Now off that medication and feeling much better, Wyse is well on her way to a full recovery.