Cancer Care at Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro

March 15, 2014

It was a joyful time in new mother Keva Giddings’ life. She and her husband Joe were the proud parents of a beautiful ten-month-old baby, Darren, and she had recently returned to work from maternity leave.

Then the unthinkable happened.

As Keva was breastfeeding her son, she detected a lump in her breast. She immediately contacted her doctor, who grew concerned and urged her to wean her child immediately so they could complete a biopsy.

Keva followed her doctor’s advice, and two months later, at age 32, found out that she did indeed have breast cancer.

“You’re told you have cancer, and from that moment on you don’t hear anything. Everything else was a blur,” recalls Keva.

Keva began receiving treatment at Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro. She immediately underwent lumpectomy surgery, and, because of the aggressive nature of Keva’s cancer, doctors also removed all of the lymph nodes on her left side.

This was just the beginning of her fight.

Keva received six months of chemotherapy treatment followed by five weeks of radiation. She underwent bone scans and genetic testing, experienced hair loss, and endured many other physically and emotionally trying events during the process.

Through it all, the doctors, nurses, and staff at Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro were right by her side.

From the moment her biopsy was ordered to her diagnosis and through every procedure, Keva’s coordinated team of caregivers provided her with the compassion and support she needed to get through a very difficult time.

My team of doctors and their staff in San Pedro took my hand and walked me through every step of my treatment. There was never a time I didn’t understand what was happening with my health care. I always felt like I could pick up the phone and get in touch with someone if I needed to,” Keva recalls.

Keva’s physical therapist, who works almost exclusively with breast cancer patients, referred her to a breast cancer support group offered through Providence Little Company of Mary. Here, she met other patients – some young mothers, like herself – and found it to be an essential part of the healing process.

“Having someone who understands you and who has been there is vital to surviving the treatment,” says Keva.

Keva has now been cancer-free for four years. While she will continue to receive annual mammograms, she will be having her final follow-up appointment at Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro later this year. “I just feel like I came out of shock. I’m finally starting to come back to who I was,” she says.

Keva, her husband, and her son now travel as often as possible and make sure they sit down together every night at the dinner table. “We appreciate things in a whole different way. We realize how fragile life is.”

While Keva is eager to move on with her life after cancer, she will always be grateful to her caregivers at Providence Little Company of Mary.