I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, shortly after moving to Asheville from the New York City area. I quickly became overwhelmed by all of the information I needed to process quickly in order to plan my medical care. As a result, I found it difficult to take action. That's when I came across a folder for breast cancer patients prepared by Mission Hospital, which contained a brochure on the hospital's Nurse Navigator Program. I learned that Nurse Navigators could provide assistance in the decision-making process. I immediately called for an appointment. The next day, I had the good fortune of meeting Janet Magruder, the nurse navigator who helped me take the necessary steps forward. First, by listening to my fears and concerns, and then helping me to identify “my team” of medical specialists based on information I had been gathering. Janet was more than my nurse navigator, she turned out to be my guardian angel in many ways.
She accompanied me to my various medical consultations and advised me what to expect at each meeting. As a newcomer to Asheville, this was enormously comforting. Janet often appeared at my chemotherapy treatments and was always on top of everything – including, keeping me informed about opportunities such as a yoga clinical trial offered at Mission for breast cancer patients, and most recently, the LiveStrong Program at the Reuter Y, both of which I enrolled in. Having the benefit of the nurse navigator program was a remarkable gift. I felt I had an advocate in my corner. Through all of this Janet has became an important person in my life; I now consider her a valued friend.