Lori Newton

Breast cancer gives nurse perspective

Hello, my name is Lori Newton and I have been a staff nurse in the operating room at TGH for 25 years.

On Dec. 22, 2010, I found a breast lump and quickly asked for an opinion by the Surgical Oncology department at Princess Margaret. The lump was indeed cancerous and I quickly had surgery, followed by chemotherapy, more surgery and this year, a major plastic reconstruction by the Plastic Surgery Department at Toronto General Hospital.

The whole experience made me realize how much courage our patients need to face a critical illness. I had multiple tests, procedures and visits to TGH, TWH, and PMH. I must say everywhere and every person I dealt with was exceptional.

This wasn't because I was a staff member either, because many times they didn't know this fact.

I always knew I worked at an excellent institution but until I was a patient I didn't realize UHN was SO GOOD!

All of the interfacing between the multiple services and departments was seamless and worked perfectly. I couldn't complain about any of my care or the return to work in any way. It was just so organized for me!

I also realized how easy it would be for a stranger to the system to feel overwhelmed and frightened. I really can't express loudly enough how all the UHN staff helped me through it all.

Does courage live here? Yes. It lives in all our patients, but now I realize it lives in all the exceptional staff at here at UHN and I am proud to say I work here.