Bonita's Story

Ashtabula Woman Celebrates Life Cancer-Free After Treatment for Aggressive Breast Cancer 

I am cancer-free, and it feels so good to say that. I am one of those women who never had a mammogram. Then in October 2017, when I was 45, I found a lump in my breast. I didn’t have a doctor, and I had always heard good things about UH Geneva Medical Center so I went to the ED there. Dr. (Amitabh) Goel came right down to see me, and I had my first mammogram and an ultrasound. After he reviewed everything, Dr. Goel told me the mass wasn’t large enough yet to diagnose and he wanted me to come back in six months for a repeat mammogram, and not to worry. I thought, “Okay, he’s not worried. This is going to be okay.”

Bonita Johnson (center) and her care team (l to r): Mark Bergman, MD, Lori Gaines, RN, Amitabh Goel, MD, Stacy Izzi, MA, Breanne Hennesey, RN, Assistant Nurse Manager

I came back in March for a mammogram then went to UH Minoff Health Center at Chagrin Highlands for a biopsy and breast MRI. Dr. Goel told me the diagnosis – I had stage 1, triple-negative breast cancer, which means it was fast growing. Because it was aggressive, he recommended I have chemo, surgery and radiation. I had chemo first, then a partial mastectomy and removal of two lymph nodes, then radiation. Now, I am taking two chemo medications that I will continue through next May or June.

It is such a blessing to have UH Seidman Cancer Center here at UH Geneva. When you have breast cancer, you have stress already and don’t want to drive somewhere for your treatment. 

It’s been rough, but with support from Dr. Goel, the staff at UH Seidman and Gus, my significant other for 21 years, I’m getting through it. Now, I’m looking forward to the holidays with Gus, my kids and grandkids; going back to work next year and getting my life back to normal. It’s been a tough year, but I have a lot to celebrate.

– Bonita Johnson, Ashtabula

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