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Getting Back into the Swing of Things

When Stephanie Lam noticed a lump in her right breast, she wasn’t expecting to hear Stage 3 breast cancer. Luckily, when seeking treatment advice, there were many friends willing to help. Stephanie is a long-standing golf professional at Beacon Hall in Aurora where many of the members are doctors and health care professionals. They told her she was in the best hands possible with Dr. McCready at The Princess Margaret. “The greatest anxiety period for me was the five weeks of waiting between the first mammogram and the biopsy” she said.

Stephanie feels lucky to have had Dr. McCready, and says that after he laid out the plan, the anxiety dissolved. “After that I knew it was beatable, I just had to respect the process. I told him I was a golf professional and he promised to make sure I could still swing after surgery” Stephanie said.

Stephanie’s treatments involved eight rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and 25 rounds of radiation. But Dr. McCready kept his promise. The incisions running from the sternum to the underarm were quite extensive after a mastectomy and a sentinel biopsy, but her golf swing stayed intact – which was a huge relief. “I don’t wear a prosthetic, so now I have a ton of clearance with my swing” says Stephanie.

She was a dream patient, following instructions and working very hard to regain her strength. “My physiotherapist is also a golfer and knew that more than anything I needed my mobility back”. Stephanie walked the entire 18th floor of the hospital the day after her surgery.

Stephanie says she still experiences some small cramps but knows they are only a small price to pay for successful treatment. This past June she hit the links for the first time since surgery, she made two birdies and carried her bag the whole way.