Nothing can prepare you for a breast cancer diagnosis but from that moment you must be single-minded about insisting and ensuring you are in the best hands possible when it comes to surgery, and follow-up care. That’s why my Doctor and I chose Dr Erica Whineray Kelly.
Dr Erica Whineray Kelly, Breast Surgeon does everything with one thing in mind – and that is to perform the very best surgery to help you towards long term survival. Simple. How reassuring to be in the hands of a surgeon whose priorities were the same as mine!
The entire team at Auckland Breast Centre, Milford are breast experts – the radiologist, Dr Mike Baker was the first person who saved my life by diagnosing a very unusual form of breast cancer that is notoriously difficult to detect. Then I was in the hands of Dr Erica Whineray Kelly who carefully explained everything to my family and I about not just the surgery but also about life after surgery! After the first meeting with her we all knew I was in good hands under the care of a very experienced surgeon.
Throughout this whole experience every medical professional I’ve met with has spoken so highly of Dr Whineray Kelly’s reputation – and nothing can be more reassuring this. Of course I already knew that because I’d done my own research. On the morning of my mastectomy even the nurse at the hospital whispered in my ear “you are really lucky to have Erica performing your mastectomy”. My follow-ups with Nurse Kathy were so reassuring again reinforcing that being with Dr Whineray Kelly and the team at ABC was the best choice.
I have complete confidence in the follow-up care and screening I am receiving from Dr Whineray Kelly and I can’t emphasise enough how important it is that you trust your Surgeon’s reputation. Thank you to Dr Erica Whineray Kelly and the team at Auckland Breast Centre – Milford.
Breast Cancer Survivor
2013-04-18, ABC Milford
Dear Erica and Kathy
As I am an older woman with an invader to deal with, I felt very vulnerable. But the two of you make a formidable team!
I can't thank you enough..... Sue
My gratitude and thanks go out to Dr Erica Whineray-Kelly for her caring and professional attention to me during my surgery & consultations over the last 5 years.
She is an amazing young women and a very talented surgeon. I am one of the lucky ones and thanks to Erica I hope to have many, more years ahead of me.
I have had trouble putting into words how much Erica has meant to me, I can honestly state I was in a state of panic and disbelief at the time of my diagnosis but her calm and clear explanation helped me realize that all was not lost and that there was a successful treatment for me, even though it involved some surgery and radiation therapy.
I will always be extremely grateful to her.
Life changing news like this does make you re-evaluate your life. My journey has been about rediscovery, about me as a person, as a wife, as a mother and about the things that are truly important in life. I look to the future with a renewed passion and focus. I have a grateful list ... everyday I an eternally grateful that I came to the Auckland Breast Centre and met you.
I wanted to thank you formally for your care and attention over the past few weeks.
You will never know how appreciative I am of your willingness to be available for all of those questions which I had prior to and after surgery. I am fortunate to have had a surgeon of your calibre but your personal manner and care of your patient is a huge part of the healing process. Thank you.
I do feel I was very blessed to have you take charge of my recent cancer problem.
Thank you for the care and compassion you extended to me. You gave me confidence and put my children's concerns to rest. All helped my journey to date easier.
I cannot recommend Erica and the team at ABC highly enough. Right from the start of my cancer ‘journey’ the whole team was wonderful. Trudy, on reception, answered the initial enquiry call from my husband and we instantly felt that we were in the hands of experts who cared. The nurse, was fabulous holding my hand through those early days of tests and post op care. As for Erica, words cannot describe the respect and admiration I have for her both as a surgeon and a person. Her expertise, ability and professionalism is outstanding coupled with amazing personal qualities, she was always available to answer any questions (no matter how repetitive or paranoid) and fantastically reassuring and supportive - I always felt better when I had spoken to Erica.
Dave, Sandy’s Husband
What we thought would be a routine mammogram flagged a potential problem; we suffered the most terrifying and fearful night of our lives. I determined the next morning to seek out the best care and thank God I found it. From the moment I clicked on the website and telephoned the Auckland Breast Centre, it began to get easier and we felt we were engaging the help of expertly qualified people to help us tackle this – that’s the worst thing – not knowing and feeling helpless and the staff at ABC helped us deal with the waiting and once the bad news was confirmed remove the tumour as quickly as possible. Once we’d walked through the door the team dealt with our tears, gave us candid professional, yet empathetic advice, and were on call during and after treatment. The surgery itself was superb as was the follow up. A year later and learning to live again, we still occasionally turn to the staff for advice and they’re always there, even now we’re in a different country! We can’t recommend them highly enough. They saved my wife’s life and helped keep us emotionally strong. How can you thank someone enough for doing that?
From the moment I walked into the reception area of Auckland Breast Centre in Milford, Auckland, I knew that I was in the right place to receive the very best that could be offered to help me manage the daunting prospect of breast cancer. I had no prior information on what to expect and gratefully found the ambience calm and reassuring.
From my personal experience everyone in the team communicated with their colleagues, advised me of the next step which was then performed with warmth, sensitivity and care.
I have no hesitation in recommending A.B. C. for their professionalism before, during and after the medical procedure.
Don't be afraid, their door is always open.
I have had upper back problems for a large part of my life but thought breast reductions were only for really hugely breasted woman. I fitted an E cup bra and had problems getting anything nice to fit me comfortably. After speaking with Dr Ashwin he made me realise that I had a right to a better quality of life to. He had an amazing ability to make me feel so at ease and comfortable right from the start and to feel that my problem was just as important as others.
Since my surgery I have regained my independence and confidence and wish I had done this years ago. I now can mow lawns, do the garden,vacuum the floors and all the things my back would not let me do before. I am a fabulous C cup and for the first time have a draw with gorgeous bras in it. Best of all I have no back pain.
The entire team at the breast centre are fabulous people and I can not thank them enough, they have changed my life.
To Ashwin - You are a wonderful person thank you so much and keep up the good work.
If any one had to tell me a few years back that I would come face to face with the fearful big C and that in a country not of my birth – I would have laughed.
This was one scenario that was not going to happen to me. Well it did.
I went for what I thought would be a quick and positive medical check and the visit turned into a quick and positive diagnosis of cancer. Imagine my terror. I wanted to hide I wanted to run. I feared the disease and I feared the treatment.
Two months later now and I look back at my filled with fear admittance day, my discharge from hospital day and I look at my after care days and I am truly overwhelmed with everything that has happened.
Not only am I amazed at the expertise and the technology that was available to me at The Auckland Breast Centre I am filled with wonder at the confidence inspiring professionalism that every team member of The Auckland Breast Centre and the hospital that I was receiving my treatment in, displayed as they guided me every step of the way towards recovery.
Words cannot describe my gratitude. Thank you to each and every one who touched my life and for caring about me.
This is a very hard thing to put into a few short words. The diagnoses of breast cancer was such a shock. Never smoked, don't drink, breast fed all three of my children, no family history, I have a healthy diet and yet here I was being told that I had breast cancer. I had been for my routine 2 yearly mammogram when I was called back. I thought they were being over cautious. When I was called back a second time, I though maybe it was a cyst. No I had breast cancer. Dr Richard Harman was the doctor that told me. He had such a calm and compassionate approach and I knew he was the right doctor for me. I wasn't wrong. I felt that I was his most important patient, I am sure all of his patients feel the same, and felt that he would do all he could to ensure a good outcome. I was in a bit of a state when I first called the Auckland Breast Centre but Trudy (the receptionist/secretary) was just amazing. I can't remember her exact words but I do remember feeling that they would take good care of me and although I wasn't made any false promises I felt that everything was going to be OK. This is definitely what I needed to hear at the time. So I can highly recommend The Auckland Breast Centre.
Following a routine mammogram and a diagnosis of Breast Cancer, my world was suddenly turned upside down, the genuine care and support I recieved form the Auckland Breast Centre through out the whole treatment process has been invaluable. Their ongoing advice and encouragement has enabled me to move forward and look to the future with a positive attitude.
Words can not fully describe how much I appreciate all that they have done for me and my family.
The intense fear, shock and despair I felt when I was told I had breast cancer was overridden by the sense of urgency of having it removed as soon as possible however, having to find the quickest course of action was so overwhelming.
Thankfully my blessing and "miracle" was given to me in the form of the wonderful doctors and staff of the Auckland Breast Centre, who immediately stepped in, made all the arrangements, completed the endless paperwork and within one week I had my first surgery.
"Besides their efficient and professional attitude and medical help, they give me comfort, smiles, hugs, laughs, plenty of tissues and I can't forget the chocolate bowl. They clearly understand the journey we travel and have been our contsant pillar of strength, support, comfort and knowledge".
From the bottom of our hearts and souls my family and I thank you. Thank you for being a fantastic medical centre filled with the very special individuals you each are.
To Whom It May Concern,
This is a testimonial for the Auckland Breast Centre who has recently helped me through an incredibly tough time in my life.
All the staff have been wonderful, their caring support have made a difficult situation bearable. They have been highly professional but still giving me the one on one attention and kindness that I needed. They have gone out of their way to be accessible and flexible at all times, also giving support to my family when needed.
They have been dependable and accurate on their medical advice and care, which is still ongoing and have helped me access other agencies when the need has arisen. I highly recommend the Auckland Breast Centre Team and can’t thank them enough for helping me get through this.
Having been diagnosed with breast cancer early March 2008, I was operated on by Richard Harman a matter of days later, and have been both reassured and impressed with the care and consideration shown not only by Richard but also by his staff.
The extra mile that the nurse, Jill, went to, with a post surgery hospital visit, the extra injections I needed, due to my inability to take antibiotics; her very genuine care and compassion; her ready smile, all helped my rapid recovery more than she realises.
I must have been one of the first patients through ABC, and I cannot speak too highly of the professionalism and consideration throughout the last year, during what was of course a very difficult time.
The bonus is that I have now no qualms whatever in having regular checks ups, mammograms or ultrasounds at the clinic, knowing that such expert staff are always on hand. I therefore have no reservations whatever in recommending the clinic.
Afin d’aider dans ce difficile combat, j’adresse ce témoignage ; En effet, le cancer celà n’arrive pas qu’aux autres ! Il est capital de se prendre en charge et c’est ce que nous avons fait Kévin (mon époux) et moi-même. Résidents de Tahiti, nous avons décidé de nous rendre en Nouvelle Zélande, dés l’annonce des résultats de la biopsie en Décembre 2008 . Mon examen gynécologique a présenté une bosse palpable dans le quadrant externe supérieur du sein gauche associée à la formation d’un creux de la peau , la biopsie a ensuite mis en évidence un carcinome du sein , multifocal et pouvant être traité en première partie par une mastectomie et une fente axillaire . Toute la préparation a pu se faire grâce à « Internet ». En effet, vous avons cherché un « Breast surgeon » accompagné d’un « Plastic surgeon » puisqu’il nous semblait évident que la reconstruction mammaire s’imposait vu un mon age. (44 ans)
Nos recherches aboutissent sur « Auckland Breast Center » avec Dr Erica Whineray Kelly et Dr Ashwin Chunilal . Arrivés en Nouvelle Zélande , à l’orée de cette nouvelle année 2009 et pleins de confiance, nous commençons à rencontrer nos deux spécialistes et alors tout s’enchaîne assez vite, puisque dès la fin du mois de janvier , je fus opérée à « Southern Cross Hospital » d’une mastectomie , en y laissant de la peau, une biopsie du ganglion sentinelle avec fente axillaire suivie sur-le-champ d’une reconstruction TRAM opération qui a mis en action les deux médecins et ensemble pendant près de six heures.
Une réussite totale ! Dr Erica et Dr Ashwin sont satisfaits de la rapidité à laquelle je me rétablis , je cicatrise vite et aussi je reste toujours positive, tellement comblée de la bonne tournure des évènements. J’ai passé prés de trois mois en compagnie de ces professionnels de la médecine , des gens passionnés et dévoués (Dr Erica, Dr Ashwin, Dr Trevor , Sue , Jill, Trudy…) qui ont réussi à me faire accepter ce combat avec foi et ferveur puisqu ‘aujourd’hui, je me sens toujours comme une femme ha ! ha ! Rappelons nous simplement que grâce à ces personnes nous arrivons à cheminer avec cette maladie . Aujourd’hui, de retour dans mon « Fenua » (mon pays) je réalise encore plus la chance d’avoir pu rencontrer tontes ces personnes du « Auckland Breast Center » et je suis prête à aider ceux ou celles qui en auraient besoin. Je vous remercie tous du fond de mon coeur et de celui de mon mari ,de mes enfants ,de ma famille et de mes anis.
2009-04-01, Tahiti, Polynésie Française
To assist in this difficult struggle, I offer this testimony, because cancer can happen to anyone of us ! So it is crucial to deal with it in the best way and that is what my husband Kevin and I have done.
Residents of Tahiti, we decided to visit New Zealand, after the announcement of results of the biopsy in December 2008. My exam presented a palpable lump in upper outer quadrant of left breast associated with the formation of a hollow of the skin, then a biopsy revealed a carcinoma of the breast, multifocal and can be treated in part by a mastectomy and axillary clearance. All the preparation has been done through Internet. Indeed, we have looked for a Breast surgeon with a Plastic surgeon that combined their procedure together as it seemed obvious to have a breast reconstruction at my age(44).
Our research result at the “Auckland Breast Center” with Dr. Erica Whineray Kelly and Dr Ashwin Chunilal. Arrived in New Zealand, at the start of this new year 2009 and full of confidence, we began to meet these two specialists and then everything moved on fast from there, because at the end of January, my surgery took place in the “Southern Cross Hospital” for a mastectomy, in leaving the skin, a sentinel lymph node biopsy with axillary clearance followed by a TRAM flap, the two specialists combined their procedure for nearly six hours.
A total success! Dr. Erica and Dr Ashwin were satisfied with my fast recovery, I healed quickly and I kept a positive frame of mind. We spent nearly three months in the company of these medical professionals, passionate and dedicated people (Dr. Erica, Dr Ashwin, Dr Trevor, Sue, Jill, Trudy ...) have managed to make me accept this struggle with faith and fervor. Since today, I still feel like a woman ha! ha!
We simply recall that, thanks to these people we can walk with
this disease. Today, back in my "Fenua" (my country) I realize even more
how fortunate we were to have met all of these consultants at the
Auckland Breast Center and I am ready to assist those who may need them.
We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts - my husband, my
children, my family and friends.
Maururu. Thank you.
2009-04-01, Tahiti, French Polynesia.
One night in April 2008, I discovered a lump in my left breast. The following day, I saw my GP and he indeed confirmed that I did have a lump and advised that I was likely to need three diagnostic tests (mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy) to confirm what the lump was. As I was very anxious to do this ASAP, he contacted Erica Whineray Kelly from the ABC as “she had been very helpful” on another occasion. She proved to be extremely helpful again on this occasion because, although tied up in theatre herself that day, because it was a Friday and she was aware how agonising it can be waiting for a diagnosis, she arranged for me to have the tests at the Auckland Breast Centre that day with a follow up appointment for the results with her on the Monday night (after her last patient for the day). This was as prompt a service as anyone could expect…diagnostic tests the day the ABC was contacted, with diagnosis the following working day.
The staff I encountered during the diagnostic tests…the radiographer, the radiologist and his nurse were all aware of the stressful situation I was in and I was seen promptly and treated with understanding and respect.
On the Monday night when I saw Erica for my results, despite being the worst moment of my life, I was very impressed with the way she presented the information to me. Although I was being told I had breast cancer, Erica managed to convey a positivity and confidence that helped to reassure me, when I desperately needed reassuring. She gave me the facts I needed to know then and there but didn’t bombard me with any more than I could handle at that time. My prompt service continued when she told me she had requested an additional theatre session in three days time so that I could have my mastectomy ASAP before the long weekend that was coming up.
The written information I received from the ABC when I received my diagnosis was very comprehensive and helpful. Having written information meant that I was able to access it at a time that suited me. As I adjusted to the fact that I had breast cancer, I was able and willing to learn more about what to expect.
I was again impressed with Erica when I had my surgery. I felt she had a genuine empathy for me. She even held my hand as I was going off to sleep. When I woke up from surgery, she told me what she had found in brief detail, simple enough for me to take in at that time. When she came to see me the following morning, she took the time to talk to me. I really felt as though she cared for me as a person.
Waiting for the pathology report was another agonising wait, and Erica rang me the night she found out my results so that I didn’t have to wait another night until my appointment the following day.
Erica’s care even extended well beyond the surgery… she rang me around the time I was starting chemotherapy to see how I was doing and then again a couple of months later to see how I was.
Jill, the Breast Care nurse at the ABC also helped make me feel like I was receiving very personalised care. She made contact with me the day after my diagnosis and kept in regular contact with me from there on in. She showed a genuine interest in how I was.
Despite receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer, my experience at the ABC has been an extremely positive one. The care I have received has been prompt, professional, personalised and delivered in a very caring way.
I know that you did everything you could to help me; the fact that the results are good is a marvelous bonus.
Thank you for seeing me, hearing me, listening to me and talking to me. When you talk to me I feel like the centre of your universe. That is a wonderful gift.
Thank you for your amazing skill as a surgeon ( I wear the scar of your handiwork proudly!) and for allowing me to benefit from your time and talent.
You spoke of "we" and "us" making this journey together and I appreciate that.
I know that it's not over but I feel that you went above and beyond what was called for and I am very grateful.
With admiration, respect and gratitude.
Being a good friend
Being a good friend to someone with Breast Cancer.
Advice to others
Advice to others going through this journey.
Early detection is the most important thing
It happened very quickly, early detection is the most important thing.
"I wanted to thank you formally for your care and attention over the past few weeks. You will never know how appreciative I am of your willingness to be available for..."
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