Albuquerque, NM-North Scottsdale Location
As I walked into the office, there were 2 wonderful personalities that greeted me at the reception area. They were Leneya, and Ashlee. They were so kind to me and treated me like gold, and also like family. Thanks girls.
Next I met Jenna, and Haylie. They were the Nursing Staff. They sensed my fears and my apprehension. They were very sweet and professional at the same time, and managed to calm me down and explain everything that I needed to help me calm down.
I also met Erica. I called her smiley, because she had a way of just making a person feel comfortable just by her big smile. She was great and treated me with professionalism, but also like a friend.
Next I met Alyssa. I have to say that for a very young woman, she had so much substance. She is the person that I spent the most time with. She was absolutely wonderful. She explained everything to me, and helped me be calm throughout the whole process. I thank her the most, because of her, I felt like it would be ok….Thanks Alyssa.
Then there was Danita Dimples…. She also had an amazing smile, helped me laugh, and didn’t just talk to me like a patient, she talked to me like a friend and made me feel so comfortable. Thanks Danita.
Then there was Lydia. She was very quiet, but very nice and professional. She was sweet and in her own quiet way, but made me feel comfortable.
Finally what can I say about Dr. Kuske. Well first off, he is the reason that all of the staff is so great. They take after his lead. He and his staff treated me like family. I can’t write enough words to help people realize how great an experience I had at his offices. Yes, I have breast cancer, and yes, I almost forgot that I had breast cancer when I was in Dr. Kuske’s care, because he focused on me. Yes, he focused on me! Dr. Kuske, also took time out of his day and called me to answer some questions that I had, once I returned home. I thought that was great because he really didn’t have to.
Dr. Kuske and his office talk a lot about how little pain that you will feel when you go through their treatments. I would like to say that they hardly tell you about all the warmth, fun, happiness, and sense of family that you will feel, when you meet Dr. Kuske’s entire staff.
Thank you sooooo much, Kristina, Leneya, Ashlee, Jenna, Haylie, Erika, Alyssa, Danita, Lydia, and of course to Dr. Kuske.
New River, AZ, Deer Valley Location
To Dr. Patel, Alex Li, and the AZCCC Radiology Staff:My sincere thanks to all involved in my care, you made a difficult situation so much easier. Your ability to provide quality care, comfort and compassion was phenomenal. My husband and I are grateful. I know you will be there for anyone who needs your services.
Cave Creek, AZ, Deer Valley Location
To Dr. Patel, Alex Li, and the AZCCC Radiology Staff:
To Dr. Yang & Dr. Quiet
To All the Radiation Techs!
To All the Nurses!
To The Office Staff!
Especially those ladies at the front desk that greeted us so kindly every day! And to anyone we may not have mentioned that helped us! Thank You All So Much for your sincere caring and concern during these trying days!
Phoenix, AZ, Deer Valley Location
Gilbert, AZ-North Scottsdale Location
We are confident she received the very best care available for her case, and would like to extend our sincere appreciation to you and your colleagues for making this experience as manageable as it could be, under the circumstances.
We look forward to continuing to benefit from your knowledge and experience as she navigates her way back to full health.
Once again, thank you and best regards.
Cave Creek, AZ-North Scottsdale Location
Dr. Kuske informed me that I was a candidate for Partial Breast Multi-Catheter Brachytherapy, but that I had an option for full breast radiation as well. Due to the type of breast cancer I was diagnosed with, I was also a candidate for the Randomized Phase III Study of the Whole Breast Versus Partial Breast Irradiation. I was so overwhelmed with the fact that I had to go through radiation, it was a lot for me to think about. I realized the pros outweighed the cons and decided to participate in the Randomized study. I felt strongly that the study was important and would help other women in the future, and I would receive great aftercare with good doctors for 5 years instead of the routine 2 years. As a result I was chosen for Brachytherapy, the most appealing aspect was that the radiation treatment would last 5 days instead of 6 weeks. Im so thankful for Dr. Kuske and his wonderful staff, they were always so welcoming and made an unbearable situation bearable. I am forever grateful.
Amazingly, you came into my life weeks before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. On September 2, 2008, I read an article about you in the Arizona Republic, which discussed a new breast cancer technique called brachytherapy. I was so impressed with this new form of treatment that I saved the article never dreaming I would be consulting you a little over a month later.
On September 21, 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. On October 14, 2008, I had a lumpectomy and then was advised that I was a good candidate for brachytherapy. I was referred to you by my surgeon, and with my article in hand, I met with you on October 23, 2008.
The moment I met you and showed you the article was the moment I knew that you had come into my life through some form of divine intervention. Brachytherapy is not a procedure that I would have been attracted to since I am very afraid of needles. However, when I looked into your eyes and felt the warmth of your hands and perceived your concern and understanding, I knew that you and brachytherapy were the choice that I would make.
In such little time and right before the Holidays, I had to make a tremendous emotional adjustment to the fact that one day I though I was cancer-free and the following day I was told I had cancer. I believe that it was extremely important for me to have a healthy mind and spirit in order to help my body heal so I decided that I had to approach cancer and brachytherapy in a creative way where all my energy would be concentrated solely on the positive.
I also made the decision that I would not tell anyone other than my husband that I had cancer. In this way if there was no one to feel sorry for me, then I certainly could not feel sorry for myself. I believe this decision was instrumental in my having a positive attitude because my focus was on wellness and not on sickness.
I tried not to look at the pictures in your office of the actual procedure because of my fear of needles. I knew that I had to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for brachytherapy, and the only way I could do it was to distance myself from the details of what would actually be happening to me. I was so very appreciative that you allowed me to wear a sleep mask and headphones during the entire procedure from the appreciation process of the 31 catheters to the five days twice a day of radiation. I was able to listen to relaxing CDs and my sleep mask added to my sense of a pleasant well-being.
After the application process, when I came in for my radiation treatments, Dr. Bodour Salhias voice was always there to soothe me and monitor my treatment. During each treatment, you always came in to briefly hold my hand with kind and caring words of comfort for me. Although I could not see you, I always felt your presence.
I completed my treatment on Friday, November 21, 2009, and with grace and ease you removed all of the 31 catheters at one time. My husband who was with me during the catheter removal process was very impressed. I had completed the radiation treatment in less then a week so that I would not be receiving my radiation treatment during the Holidays. I could now go home and prepare for and enjoy Thanksgiving with my family the following week. I certainly had a good deal to be thankful for in my life.
You and your staff were very much a part of my life during this journey, and I will always remember your kindness and support, your comforting words, your warm hands, and the sparkle in your eye. I will always be eternally grateful for your intense and passionate desire to heal as you continue to accompany me on my life journey of wellness.
With sincere appreciation, A Very Grateful and Devoted Client
I found myself needing to talk with other breast cancer survivors and have been visiting the American Cancer Society's Cancer Survivor's Network. What I find on the discussion boards for breast cancer surprises me. Out of the scores of women who have told their stories that range from newly diagnosed to being finished with treatment a few years ago, I am the only one to have had brachytherapy. One woman just posted that she was turned down today for MammoSite because her tumor is too close to her rib.
I couldn't type fast enough to respond with information from your website in regard to other brachytherapy options!
These women are from all over the country from big cities like New Orleans to rural farm communities. I am shocked at how few radiation oncologists discuss, much less offer, brachytherapy. One woman posted that her radiation oncologist said that it is not 'proven' to be as effective as whole breast radiation. Grrr. That made me so mad. OK, stage III isn't done, but its preliminary findings are awesomely good for brachytherapy's effectiveness.
I thank the powers that be that I was led to your offices and, particularly to you, Dr. Kuske. If there is ever anything I can do to put out the word a little more to a few more women, please let me know!
Hope you all are having an awesome day so that you can be awesome caregivers to the women trusting themselves to you!
Now what was I going to face?
Certainly not what I ultimately was blessed to receive - which is why I'm writing this. Regardless of whether I had implants or not - I was a candidate for Dr. Kuske's brachytherapy procedure. And because I had implants, this radiation method did not disturb my implants OR my skin in any way.
I cannot say enough about Dr. Kuske's thorough explanation, patience and exacting consultation throughout not only the beginning of my journey but throughout the entire procedure - which only lasted a little over one week. I saw Dr. Kuske every time I was treated - he checked on me to provide support and assurance.
Yes, it was scary - all those little tubes going through my breast and being hooked up to a machine twice a day for 5 days. But looking back on it now, I would do it again and gladly tell others who are candidates for this method to do it. The scarring is minimal and I did not lose any feeling in the catheter area. I was able to return to work a week after my radiation was completed. I carry around one of the catheters that had been in my breast so when I talk to other women who are faced with this decision, they can see what it is and how well I came through this. In fact, I joked with Dr. Kuske and Dr. Quiet that I would sit in the waiting room and expose my breast if they wanted me to!
However, cancer is no joke and Dr. Kuske treated me with every respect and professionalism! Thank you, Dr. Kuske, for making what was a difficult time much easier and more positive.
The procedure in itself wasn't terribly uncomfortable. I would notice in the afternoons I would get achy and tired, which Tylenol was enough to relieve any discomfort. After the 5th day of treatment, the catheters came out quickly and didn't hurt at all. The area healed quickly and I was back to working out once the wounds sealed shut (within a week). I wore a really supportive sports bra for the first couple of months to keep the area from jiggling too much as it takes time to heal completely.
The left breast had DCIS with a secondary breast cancer. Because of the possibility of a bridge between the two sites, I had to go with the external beam radiation for 6 weeks. The down side of that is that you go every day for 6 weeks plus the surrounding areas receive some of the radiation too, and the skin gets irritated. My last treatment was September 17th, 2008. The after effects are that the skin is still a bit darker in that area, my left underarm doesn't grow hair (not a bad thing), and the range of motion is a bit limited whereas the range of motion on the right side has no limitation.
I'm not a religious person per se but do believe in God and a higher power. I thank God daily for my medical team, my gynecologist Dr. Jean Moon, who detected the cancer initially and her recommendation for my surgeon Dr. Elena Sibley, to her recommendation for my radiologist, Dr. Kuske. I truly have been blessed in what I felt to be the worst time of my life.
My radiation oncologist, Dr. Quiet felt I would be a good candidate for the Brachy SAVI technique. I had researched this technique on cancer websites and also had a friend who had gone through this procedure six months earlier. I had seen the divide and understood the most difficult part of the whole procedure would probably be inserting the device. I was correct. I was sure glad the device came in three sizes, small, medium and large. I understand they now have a petite size.
The first night I was sore and needed to use a pillow to support my arm and to protect from any excess movement during my sleep. To my surprise, I slept very well. Each of the 5 days I needed to receive treatments 6 hours apart, with a CAT scan before each treatment to make sure the device was where it was suppose to be. I received wonderful caring attention by all, and was checked carefully by several techs before the 10 minutes of treatment. After each treatment a nurse attended to my dressings and made sure no infection had set in . I was given dressings and my husband instructions, so my husband and I could attend to my breast at home.
I did find a nap necessary between the morning and afternoon treatment and since I was retired this was easy for me. I felt my body needed time to head as I was going through the radiation.
Each day was a count down day and a celebration that I was closer to the end of my treatment. On last day, I was concerned about the removal of the SAVI, but to my surprise it just slid out. Healing was easy and I had very little discomfort.
Several things impressed me. One was the ease of treatment. I was delighted to find I felt really good during and after treatment. Another was the TLC I received from Dr. Quiet and her staff. They all went out of their way to see that I was comfortable. One more point is the amazing procedure. You can't help being curious about how things work and the staff is happy to answer any questions.