She is a remarkable person with a riveting zest for life. Her philosophy in treating cancer patients is centered around educating the patient in their disease and including them in treatment decisions. When John and I first met Judy the night before surgery we spent 3 hours with her reviewing research studies pertaining to my type of cancer. She intently listed to us and answered our questions directly yet with compassion. Because I tested positive for the gene mutation called BRCA2 which disables tumor suppression she whole-heartedly agreed with my decision to have an oophorectomy and bi-lateral mastectomy (rather than lumpectomies). She expressed her concern with jumping right into breast reconstruction because we needed to see if there were sufficient cancer free margins around the cancerous areas before thinking about implants. Implants might have had to be removed if the margins were not clean and I needed radiation. I appreciated her caution about the unnecessary surgery and chose not to go forward with that part of the surgery.
When you enter Guardian Oncology you are greeted by genuine caring people. It feels like visiting a favorite relative’s home. Not the stark bright clinical setting which we have all become accustomed to. You know you will be invited to sit down in a comfy chair where you can invite a cute little dog to jump up in your lap. The two sweet little dogs are not at all bothersome, in fact they have turned me in to a lap dog lover.
Judy believes in an integrated approach in healing patients. She employs full time massage, Reiki and Guided Imagery therapists. These services are free to patients and their families to use as often as desired. When I was at a low point during my hospital stay she sent Sue over to my room to give me and my mother massages. I’ll write more later about a break-through I had with handling my fears during a Guided Imagery session.
The biker chick reference comes from a fund raiser for the Guardian Angels, a foundation she started, which raises money for cancer patients who cannot afford treatment. She gathers a group of sponsored bikers for a ride each summer. John is currently working on a new website for Guardian Oncology which has some video of Judy talking about her practice and the Guardian Angel ride. She is compelling to watch. I’ll include a link when the site goes live.