As her mother is a breast cancer survivor, Paula took the proactive approach and began having mammograms early. A mammogram at Touro in February was flagged for follow-up in April. In mid-April, Paula had something else on her agenda as well—she had decided to run for judge in Civil District Court.
She returned on April 23 to hear the results of her biopsy.
“I went by myself to the appointment, even after a friend offered to go with me—I thought it was nothing,” she said. “I saw Dr. Rupley, and I asked him, ‘So are you the doctor who is going to tell me the good news?’”
When the news was that the biopsy was abnormal, Paula was certainly not prepared.
“I remember he was very compassionate,” she said. “He tried not to minimize it, and explained that it was stage 0. I remember crying and saying, ‘But I’m supposed to run for judge!’ He actually made me laugh.”
After a lumpectomy performed by Dr. Levin, Paula was scheduled for several weeks of radiation treatments. With a campaign for an October election in full swing, Paula was ready to fight her cancer—fast.
“The radiation was in and out,” she said. “The hardest part was getting up and getting there on time early in the morning, then campaigning all day.”
“The people at Touro have absolutely wonderful personalities. I received excellent care. Part of me was saddened by having breast cancer, but mainly I was concerned about it interrupting my life. I am very blessed that it was stage 0.”