Gloria Dreier had never missed a mammogram. This time was no different, except this time they found cancer. “When they told me, I thought, ‘I’m not the first and I won’t be the last. I’ll get through this.’ They gave me my options and told me I could get my care anywhere,” said Gloria. “I’ve lived in Waverly for 46 years and have never had a negative experience at Waverly Health Center (WHC), so I wanted my surgery to be done here.”
Gloria didn’t want to waste any time, but she wanted to make the best decision for her. “I was in my car in the Hy-Vee parking lot when I just needed to talk to someone.” Gloria called WHC’s breast care navigator, Rachel Stone. Rachel was with Gloria when the doctor told her she had breast cancer. Rachel helped Gloria by telling her she’d be with her through her treatment. “We talked for 25 minutes or so, and when I hung up the phone, I knew what I wanted to do.”
On December 22, Dr. Amber Crawford, WHC general surgeon, preformed Gloria’s lumpectomy – a surgery to take out a mass of tissue from a breast. “The surgery went great. My husband and I actually went out for supper afterwards. The incisions healed well and didn’t cause me any trouble.”
Following surgery, Gloria went through 20 radiation treatments at Covenant Cancer Treatment Center in Waterloo. She finished her treatment on February 24 and is now on an estrogen blocking drug for 5 years.
“About 2 out of 3 breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive. For these cancers, high estrogen levels help the cancer cells grow and spread. Gloria tested positive for estrogen receptors on her cancer cells, so taking this medication lowers her chance of the cancer coming back or developing a new breast cancer,” said Dr. Crawford.
Gloria trusts Dr. Renu Bansal, her family practice provider in the Christophel Clinic, with her post-cancer and routine health care. “My husband and I had gone to Dr. Dahlquist for years. We were so sad to see him leave the clinic, but as soon as Dr. Bansal walked in the room, I knew we’d be in good hands.”
Gloria encourages all women to get a yearly mammogram. “It’s not that bad!” she said. By catching Gloria’s cancer early, it didn’t have the opportunity to spread, and for that Gloria is thankful.
Gloria and her husband Charlie live at Eisenach Village in Waverly. She has been retired from Wartburg College for 17 years and enjoys playing cards, reading and raising Monarch butterflies. “My friends and I always say, ‘How did we ever have time to work?’”
Photo: Charlie and Gloria celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on an overnight train from Jasper to Vancouver, Canada.