When Jodi Joskowitz first felt a lump on her chest only two months after her annual mammogram, she thought it wasn’t real: “I felt like I was in some quirky Seinfeld episode and even joked to my gynecologist that I must be growing a third nipple.”
But she certainly wasn’t laughing a week later when the diagnosis came back as breast cancer.
“I was fit, healthy and had no history of breast cancer in my family,” says the 48-year-old financial salesperson. “This blindsided me. I felt like my whole world was crumbling.”
A lumpectomy and lymph node removal immediately took place in April 2015. Although she doesn’t recall the names of the nurses at her side, she does remember what they said and how they made her feel.
“They held my hand, wiped my tears and told both my husband and me that we were in great hands and that I was going to be OK,” she says.
Next, Mrs. Joskowitz began seven weeks of radiation therapy under the care of Mona Karim, MD.
“I felt like I was hanging out with a girlfriend, another working mom,” says Mrs. Joskowitz. “Her kindness, sincerity, warmth and understanding kept me feeling safe.”
What impressed Mrs. Joskowitz even more was that her medical team saw her mental health as much a part of her treatment as her physical health. There were frequent visits from social workers.
Last fall, her company held a Jeans Day to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness month and part of the proceeds went to the Carol W. and Julius A. Rippel Breast Center.
“I’m glad I can give back to the place that made the worst experience of my life humane and dignified,” she says.