Young Mother Deals with Breast Cancer Diagnosis

November 01, 2013

At just 37, mother of four Angie Dela Torre received the shock of her life – she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

“I got the call while I was running errands with my four-year-old son. I was in disbelief. I was shaking,” Angie recalls.

With Angie still reeling from her diagnosis, her husband, Frank – who works with cancer patients at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance – knew that time was of the essence. He immediately turned to his colleagues whom he knew would take care of her physical and emotional needs with strength and grace.

Angie’s caregivers at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance leapt into action, as they do for all of their cancer patients. Her physicians took the time that Angie needed to understand her treatment options and make the best choices. This helped her feel empowered and ready to fight for her life.

“My doctors were right on top of it. Everything was moving so fast. They wanted me to have the best chance of beating this,” says Angie.

She underwent a double mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. This physical and emotional battle took more than a year, and it also took every ounce of strength that Angie and her family could muster. Through it all, the physicians, nurses, and staff at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance made Angie feel like her survival was as important to them as it was to her; everyone was on her side.

From surgeons to pain management staff to physical therapists, each person Angie remembers from her treatment was compassionate and confident in her ability to recover, which made a big impact. When a member of the housekeeping staff went out of her way to give Angie a reassuring smile at a moment when she really needed it, the supportive gesture gave her strength enough to fight for one more day.

“Everyone was very supportive – they truly felt like family,” says Angie.

The medical center also connected her with a breast cancer support group. Here, she met other patients – some young mothers, like herself – and found it to be an important part of her healing.

Today, Angie has beaten the odds – she has been in remission for nearly two years. She continues to see her team of caregivers at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance regularly to make sure she remains healthy and strong.

Angie, Frank, and their children now enjoy traveling and spending plenty of quality time together. “We don’t take our lives for granted. We don’t sweat the small things,” she says.

While Angie is eager to move on with her life after cancer, she and her family will forever be grateful to her outstanding and kind caregivers at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance.

Our medical center recently received the Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospital for the second consecutive year, was recognized with the Beacon Award honoring our outstanding nursing team, and was the only hospital in LA County and one of five in California named by Becker’s Hospital Review to their annual list of 100 Great Community Hospitals.