|Dayna Bell with her husband, Jason, and |
their daughter Ellie, now almost 3 years old.
Best and Worst of Times
By Dayna Bell
As a homesick college freshman, I only knew GBMC as a landmark on Charles Street. It brought tears to my eyes to see it and know that I was getting closer to being dropped off at college. A year later, my feelings changed and it became the landmark that brought excitement, signifying that I was almost back to my home away from home.
GBMC became a much more significant part of my life 10 years later and ironically brought a similar pattern of sadness and fear that ended in the purest of joys. The sadness and fear came when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29. I went through months of treatments at GBMC in many different departments of the hospital. I was amazed to find that almost every staff member I met, from the custodial staff to the doctors, were so professional, kind and compassionate. No doubt that the treatment was top notch, but it was much more than that. Coming to a place for treatments that made you sick was horrible; however, it was the staff that kept me from kicking and screaming every time I had a chemotherapy appointment. It was actually one of the infusion nurses who made me feel confident enough to take off my wig when my hair was growing back in. I also first met the patient navigator there, who has since become one of my best friends.
Fast forward three years and GBMC became a place that shared the most joyous moment of my life – bringing my baby girl, Ellie, into the world. I went from going for weekly chemotherapy treatments to attending weekly baby classes and appointments to see my baby growing inside me. Those two events were such life-changing events for me, and GBMC was there for me through it all. It is now the golden standard to which I hold other hospitals. Visiting other hospitals, I am always thinking in my head, “GBMC does this better.” Even my husband has become a huge fan and thinks that the cafeteria is so great, he will actually suggest that we go there for dinner whenever we are in the area. Okay, that is a little strange, but when a place helps you through the worst and then best times of your life, you can’t help but hold it in a very special place in your heart.
Visit www.gbmc.org/cancer or call 443-849-GBMC (4262) to get more information on the services offered at GBMC’s Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute. And become a fan of GBMC on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/gbmcmedia to stay tuned for upcoming contests!