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Local breast cancer survivor to speak at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Hinsdale – If Carol Zdenek had not been so faithful with her annual mammograms, the tiny breast cancer tumor discovered on her breast might not have been detected until it was too late. But the 64-year-old Lemont resident isn’t focusing on the “what ifs.” She is too thankful to be alive.
“I always tried to stay positive, even when I was nauseous from the chemotherapy and I was losing my hair,” Zdenek said. “It’s important to keep your sense of humor and to not be afraid to tell your family and friends how you feel.”
Zdenek will share her experiences at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month tree lighting ceremony, scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at the hospital, 120 N. Oak St. During the ceremony, hospital officials will announce the winners of the annual Pink Ribbon Art Contest.
The contest is open to six age groups, kindergarten through adult, with prizes awarded in each group. Art entries related to breast cancer awareness, education or experiences will be accepted. Deliver entries by Sept. 23, with entry form securely attached, to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital's information desk, main floor, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit www.keepingyouwell.com/pinkart.
Donated entries will be offered for silent auction at the tree lighting ceremony. Proceeds will benefit Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s Breast Cancer Education and Outreach fund.
In 2009, 1 in 8 women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s tree lighting ceremony kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed in October. Trees on the hospital grounds will be strung with pink lights to raise awareness of breast cancer.
Regular mammograms were familiar ground to Zdenek; follow-up ultrasounds and biopsies were not, so Zdenek knew something was wrong. Still, hearing the words “You have cancer” devastated Zdenek.
At first, Zdenek thought a lumpectomy and radiation therapy would solve the problem. But surgery revealed the cancer had spread into a node, so 15 nodes total were removed. The extra ones were cancer free, but chemotherapy was added to Zdenek’s treatment plan to be sure.
When battling cancer became hard, Zdenek focused on her grandchildren and kept going. She also sought information from her doctors, surgeon Dr. Colleen Hagen, oncologist Dr. Christine Winter and radiation oncologist Dr. Jeffrey Feinstein. She is also grateful for the support she received from Betsy Sweeney, a fellow breast cancer survivor who, as Zdenek’s patient navigator, accompanied her to doctor’s appointments and helped her navigate her treatment.
“Betsy’s my guardian angel,” Zdenek said.
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.
More About Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Founded by the Seventh Day Adventist church, the faith-based aspect of this hospital can be felt throughout the halls. Bible verses adorn the walls, and posters in elevators let patients know that chaplains are available to pray with them. Chaplains maintain the same hours as doctors and are always on call around the clock. Doctors on staff at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital also work at its sister hospital in LaGrange.