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Houston Methodist Foundation Magazine | 2014

As she had done for years, in 2012, Vicki Baucum scheduled her annual mammogram for early October. When her doctor, Keith Reeves, requested she undergo additional testing, she hardly gave it a second thought. “I have dense breast tissue, so additional testing was not uncommon,” she says. But just because a test is routine, it doesn’t mean the results will be predictable. A week before Thanksgiving, Dr. Reeves delivered life-altering news to Vicki and her husband Carl: The additional tests revealed she had a malignant tumor. The diagnosis launched them on a 10-month journey underpinned by faith and trust. Dr. Reeves, now retired and the former chair of Houston Methodist’s Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine, immediately arranged for Vicki to meet the next day with Dr. Jenny Chang, director of the Houston Methodist Cancer Center and holder of the Emily Herrmann Chair for Cancer Research. “Dr. Reeves told me, ‘Whatever she tells you to do, you do; she knows more about breast cancer than anyone, so trust her completely.’ And, that’s what I did,” Vicki says. When Vicki and Carl arrived at their first meeting with internationally renowned physician Dr. Chang, they came armed with notepads, ready to take notes for later reference. After their first few minutes with her, Dr. Chang requested Vicki’s pad and pencil. “She said, ‘I’ll take the notes, you just listen.’ We listened and immediately felt totally at ease and confident that we were in the right place. I never worried and always felt most positive about my future. I trusted Dr. Chang completely and had a very strong faith that God was by my side.” Dr. Chang forthrightly yet compassionately told Vicki she had grade 3 triple-negative breast cancer, and it was very aggressive. She followed this up with a single reassuring promise, “I will help you fight this.” houstonmethodist.org/foundation 39


Houston Methodist Foundation Magazine | 2014
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