A Grateful Patient’s Breast Cancer Journey

I am currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer at Roper St. Francis Hospital and would like to acknowledge two physicians who truly embody your mission of “healing with compassion, faith and excellence”. My experience thus far at RSFH has been one of consistently excellent care with every interaction, from receptionists to your outstanding physicians and their respective teams. Throughout this cancer journey I can say “I’ve got this” primarily because I’ve got them.

I initially began treatment at Beaufort Memorial, where I had a full diagnostic workup, infusion port placement, two biopsies and my fist two TCHP infusions. In preparation for the relocation to Summerville, I had a multidisciplinary consult at MUSC, having been told by my doctors at Beaufort that MUSC is “the best of the best”. In retrospect, I would debate that assertion all day long. After establishing care and to maintain the 21-day cycle of TCHP I called to schedule my next infusion with MUSC multiple times. I was scheduled for my infusion, with what appeared to be disregard to the time-sensitive nature of the infusion cycle. This was an unnecessary level of stress added to my cancer battle. I mention this as a point of comparison. While seemingly competent physicians, the experience cannot compare to that of RSFH. I took it upon myself to research options in the Charleston area and thankfully came upon Charleston Oncology and Roper St. Francis.

With one phone call your team began the process of transferring my records and I had a consult and infusion scheduled by the end of the day.

I knew at that point I was in good hands moving forward. I met with Dr. Lingerfelt and was immediately impressed — he is extremely knowledgeable, personable, thoughtful, and calm (probably suspected I was the opposite of calm), and made sure I left the exam room with no unanswered questions. His willingness to spend as much time as necessary to make sure I was comfortable with the treatment plan did not go unnoticed. We had a slight hiccup with insurance that postponed my infusion by one day, but Tifney (Dr. Lingerfelt’s team) immediately took control and sorted the situation. She has been my main point of contact ever since and is invaluable to me, always answering my calls (or returning the call immediately), getting the information and/or scheduling I need, always with her friendly personality and smile. I can’t emphasize how important it is to have someone like Tifney be the liaison between patient and physician. It’s very reassuring to know that Dr. Lingerfelt’s expertise is accessible.

Dr. Albaneze and Rae are simply outstanding. Rae is just an incredible resource, always available by phone with the answers I need. She’s proactive, helps me when I don’t even realize I need help, is very knowledgeable, always friendly. She goes above and beyond every time, listens to the details and actions accordingly. Again, she’s incredibly important as the liaison to Dr. Albaneze and is also an invaluable member of my care team.

I’m running out of superlatives here, but Dr. Albaneze is amazing. His expertise is very apparent, communicates the treatment plan in a calm and compassionate manner.He has a great personality that puts me at ease immediately, takes the time to explain everything and makes sure no question goes unanswered. He works tirelessly towards a positive outcome. I leave every encounter confident in his care.

Cancer is a life-changing diagnosis, to be sure, but I have absolute faith and confidence in Drs. Albaneze and Lingerfelt that I will achieve the best possible outcome. What could be a nerve-wracking and harrowing time has been, under the care of these gentlemen and their extremely competent teams, very tolerable and has allowed me to handle this journey to the best of my ability. I simply could not do so without their exceptional care, and “thank you” seems insufficient for what they’ve done, and continue to do, for me and my family.

RSFH, Drs Albaneze and Lingerfelt and their team are the benchmark by which all other hospitals/providers should be judged, in my opinion.

And I judge. We’ve experienced various healthcare facilities in six states over the years and all pale in comparison. I am fortunate to have a good prognosis, and equally as fortunate to be in the care of Drs. Albaneze and Lingerfelt, and the RSFH teams.

I can confidently say “I’ve got this” because I’ve got them, and I am truly grateful for their care.

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