Virginia L. Green had moved to the northwest suburbs of Chicago from Texas and was busy preparing for her sister’s wedding.
Because Virginia lived a healthy and active lifestyle, she didn’t spend a lot of time researching doctors in her new hometown. That changed one summer day in 2013 when Virginia felt something abnormal in her breast.
“My mother had breast cancer, and when I felt something in my breast I knew I should get it checked out by a doctor,” Virginia says. “My friend recommended that I visit the NCH Breast Center in Arlington Heights.”
Virginia was diagnosed with Stage I HER2-positive breast cancer, a breast cancer that tests positive for the protein human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).
“After the biopsy, I was told the cancer was small, but that it could be aggressive,” Virginia recalls. “I couldn’t believe I had breast cancer. Everybody I met at NCH tried to put my mind at ease. They were wonderful.”
The diagnosis came at a difficult time for Virginia, who had been eagerly anticipating being a part of her sister’s wedding. Luckily, she was able to immediately schedule a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous cells.
“I wanted to be strong for my sister’s wedding, and I credit NCH for helping me,” Virginia says. “Two weeks after my surgery I was the maid of honor at my sister’s wedding.”
Following surgery, Virginia underwent brachytherapy, a cancer treatment in which radioactive implants are inserted to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
The next week, Virginia had a port implanted that was used to administer chemotherapy into the vein. She underwent six rounds of chemotherapy in the next four months.
Today, she is a survivor who recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business/human resources. “I was afraid during every step of this journey, but I did not stop,” she says. “Now I am back exercising, practicing yoga and feeling like my old self.”