In November 2020, Becky Barilani did something she’d done every year for more than a decade—have a mammogram. The 50-something Aurora resident is meticulous about her health and this mammogram was a part of her annual routine. So when the HealthONE Breast Care team at The Medical Center of Aurora (TMCA) asked her to come back for a sonogram, she wasn’t overly concerned—she’d done that too. But that’s when things changed. This time, Becky’s imaging led to a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Only days after learning the news, Becky received a call from breast cancer nurse navigator Natalie Ebenhoch, RN from Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at TMCA. Natalie was calling to answer questions and begin coordinating cancer-fighting treatment. Soon, she’d made Becky an appointment where she would meet with three breast cancer physician specialists at one time. During this meeting Becky and her husband Rick, together with breast surgeon, Dr. Laura Hafertepen, medical oncologist, Dr. Manojkumar Bupathi and radiation oncologist, Dr. Meera Patel, made a plan for a double mastectomy with reconstruction.
“They coordinated everything in the background. It was so easy for me,” said Becky. The surgery went off without a hitch. Just a month later, Becky headed back to her career in beauty industry accounting—now cancer-free. She implores all women to undergo regular cancer screenings. “From the time I found out to the time I became cancer free— it was all so fast. Catching it so early with a mammogram let me get back to my amazing, normal life. I am so thankful.”