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With the many advances in cancer treatment, today’s cancer patients have more and more reasons for hope. Portraits of Hope are the incredible stories of our patients and their journeys of hope and survival. Click on a thumbnail and scroll down to view each story.

  • Coming Full Circle
  • Breaking the Cycle
  • It’s Time for Your Mammogram
  • Sweet Blessings
  • A Lifesaving Collaboration
  • Robotic Surgery Offers Numerous Benefits
  • A Miracle from God
  • Lawton’s Story, God’s Pen
  • A Top-Notch Delivery
  • A Rainbow after the Storm
  • Working as One to Save a Child’s Life
  • Living Life to the Fullest
  • Kawasaki’s Kryptonite: Timely Care Defeats A Frightening Disease
  • Indiana Burroughs
    Ready for Adventure

Breaking the Cycle

By Jessica Wall

Sheila Roberts was not surprised to learn that she had fibroids, or non-cancerous growths in the uterus. Fibroids run in Sheila’s family and her sister, mother and grandmother all underwent surgical procedures to relieve the pain. What did surprise Sheila, however, were the benefits from the many advancements in treating pelvic health conditions.

For as long as she could remember, 45-year-old Sheila experienced extremely heavy menstrual cycles, which unbeknownst to her, was a hallmark symptom of fibroids.

When this became bothersome, Sheila’s primary care physician referred her to Dr. Candice Greenan with McLeod OB/GYN Associates for an evaluation.

“Sheila presented with the typical indicator of fibroids, namely a heavy cycle,” explains Dr. Greenan. “However, throughout our conversation, we discovered that Sheila also suffered what we refer to as ‘bulk symptoms,’ which included pelvic pain, pelvic pressure and urinary frequency.

“It is important for women to know that heavy, painful cycles -- even to the point of being anemic -- is not something they have to endure. Many women think this is normal because they do not know anything different or, like Sheila, see many of their family members experiencing the same symptoms.”

Dr. Greenan recommends every woman consult with a gynecologist to establish their menstrual regularity, which allows for early diagnoses and treatment options for any conditions that may develop over time.

“I have two daughters, ages 25 and 16, and I am having conversations with them now about sharing our family history with their physicians,” explains Sheila.

While fibroids are not genetic, they can be more prevalent in certain families.

African American females, women who are obese or have high blood pressure, and women who have been pregnant pose the greatest risk of developing the condition.

Sheila underwent an ultrasound which confirmed an enlarged uterus due to a sizeable fibroid. Dr. Greenan discussed with her the treatment options, which included medication or surgery.

Instead of prolonging her symptoms, Sheila decided to rectify the problem altogether and undergo a robotic-assisted hysterectomy.

“We only offer surgery as an option for fibroids if the patient is symptomatic,” continues Dr. Greenan. “Surgical advances now allow us to treat this condition using minimally invasive robotic surgery with the benefit of going home the same day.”

When Sheila arrived at McLeod Regional Medical Center the morning of her surgery, she was admittedly nervous. This was a major surgery at an unfamiliar hospital. However, the staff went above and beyond to create an exceptional experience for her.

“This was my first interaction with a McLeod hospital, and it far exceeded my expectations,” recalls Sheila. “The staff was professional, courteous and consistent.

“They communicated very well and made me laugh, which immediately put me at ease.”

After surgery, Sheila stayed in Extended Recovery for approximately six hours before returning home to Bennettsville.

Traditionally, patients stayed in recovery for approximately four hours before being admitted overnight for observation. Extended Recovery, however, allows patients to remain in recovery a bit longer -- usually six to eight hours -- and then go home. Both McLeod Regional Medical Center and McLeod Health Seacoast offer this service.

Extended Recovery has many benefits for GYN patients, especially those with chronic conditions and young families. The surgical process no longer disrupts medication management nor requires the additional stress of making family arrangements to accommodate a hospital stay.

“We monitor patients closely to ensure they are ready for discharge, and if for some reason the patient is uncomfortable going home, we can certainly admit them for additional observation,” explains Dr. Greenan. “However, the overwhelming majority of my patients appreciate this option. We have also achieved extremely positive outcomes with this program, including lower readmission rates and fewer visits to the Emergency Department after surgery.

“Extended Recovery is a convenient option for both patients and their families. The patient arrives and leaves from the same location, and the family stays in a single area to wait for their family member.”

Sheila felt relieved knowing she could go home the same day as her hysterectomy and recover in the comfort of her home.

“I had more than a surgery,” says Sheila. “I had an experience. From meeting a personable physician like Dr. Greenan to seeing firsthand the quality care McLeod Regional Medical Center has to offer, I could not have asked for anything better.”

And to top it off, Sheila scheduled and underwent a screening mammogram prior to her last checkup visit with
Dr. Greenan, thanks to the staff of McLeod OB/GYN Associates.

“During one of my appointments, Dr. Greenan reminded me that it was time for a mammogram. Her office staff scheduled it for me at McLeod Health Cheraw, which is close to my home,” says Sheila. “I had not thought about getting a mammogram, so I really appreciate them coordinating everything for me. They made the process seamless and simple.”

Today, Sheila could not be happier with her decision to have a hysterectomy. She has found freedom from painful symptoms and fully embraced the ability to lead an active, healthy life.