Dr. Ardythe Taylor: Medical director, Breast Cancer Supportive Care
Appeared in the Calgary Herald December 1st, 2016: http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/dr-ardythe-taylor-medical-director-breast-cancer-supportive-care
It wasn’t her idea, Dr. Ardythe Taylor insists; she just took the ball and ran with it.
Taylor is the medical director at Breast Cancer Supportive Care. Stricken with the disease 18 years ago, the notion of a care centre was born through a support group of friends in a similar situation.
“It was about four years after, we were at one of the gals’ places, reflecting, and I put out the question spontaneously to the group,” she recalled. “Do you guys have any sense of any way that someone like me, as a family doctor who has experienced breast cancer, could be helpful to people like us?
“Immediately, three or four all said versions of the same thing. They said it would be great if someone like you could have a clinic to help someone like us. I discounted it; it wasn’t like a big light bulb went off for me.”
However, the serendipity of it all amazes her.
“In the next few weeks,” she said, “in quite a noticeable way, a number of doors unexpectedly opened for me and made me think, you know, maybe something bigger than me is operating here and maybe I should take a look at this.”
First, there was a fellowship announcement for family doctors interested in getting expertise in women’s health. She applied and was successful. Then, remembering a memo from the Tom Baker Centre noting that patients were being sent back to family doctors because of the high rate of diagnoses, she found her supervisor at the centre.
“There is a strong sense of it was meant to be,” she said.
The non-profit centre is funded by donations, for which Taylor, originally from B.C., is truly grateful, because the need for after-care — be it medical, psychological, nutritional, etc. — is critical.
“The World Health Organization declared breast cancer the very first cancer that fits the criteria of a chronic medical condition,” she said. “This whole supportive care is now springing up in different places because it’s the new piece that’s needed . . . for people who are living longer.”http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/dr-ardythe-taylor-medical-director-breast-cancer-supportive-care