Young doctor treating COVID-19 patients diagnosed with breast cancer
FOX 2 – A Royal Oak doctor who was caring for COVID-19 patients suddenly finds herself on the other side of the diagnosis when she learns she has breast cancer.
Emotions ran high when Dr. Bethany Pezcowski, who works long hours in the emergency room, rang the bell to celebrate her latest cancer treatment – nearly a year after her diagnosis.
“(It’s) probably one of the best sounds you’ll ever hear,” Dr. Pezcowski said.
She was working long hours in April 2020 in the emergency room as hospitals were overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Who gets cancer during a pandemic? It’s mind-blowing and I was only 32 when I was diagnosed. So I was young too, ”said Dr Pezcowski.
When the doctor becomes the patient, treatment and the search for answers have begun.
“I did genetic studies – I was tested for about 140 genes – they were all negative. I have a very strong family history, so most likely we just don’t know the gene,” said Dr Pezcowski.
She is a regular at the Proving Grounds cafe in Royal Oak, where employees have become her friends upon seeing her lose her hair to cancer. But she was still smiling over a cup of coffee.
“She’s the brightest, most amazing person ever and she’s so positive. I couldn’t wait to see her everyday because I just loved her,” said Priscilla Yousif of Proving Grounds .
After months of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and then radiation therapy, she went through the treatment and told each woman to know her body.
“I always try to tell all of my girlfriends (that) if you’re not old enough for a mammogram yet, do monthly self-exams. That’s how I found it. lucky I found it early. I was in stage 2, “Dr Pezcowski said.
At the end of January, she completed her last radiation therapy at the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Cancer Center. But she first went to her friends’ house at Proving Grounds where she was greeted with love and support, similar to what she gave to others through her fight.
“There was a big sign for me, congratulating me on being done. They had this big area of decorations. They had pink cookies for me and a pink cake that said ‘cancer free.’ It was a very emotional moment for me. me. I really cried ugly, “said Dr Pezcowski.” I think it was even harder to get cancer during the pandemic because what little life I probably would have had during the pandemic. treatment was gone because I was worried and didn’t want to contract COVID, especially being compromised for much of my treatment.
“So being able to go there several times a week and have that human connection and that connection with people who really care about you and want to know how you’re doing and ask you how you’re doing – meant the world to me.”
Dr Pezcowski is now taking medication including monthly injections and daily pills to block his hormones and will return to work in March to help patients once again.