Patient Story: Elda Casas

Elda couldn’t make time for cancer care. Then Parkland made time for her.

After so much uncertainty, today Elda radiates one thing above all – joy.

“My doctor said she didn’t want to see me.”

That’s not what you’d expect to hear after being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. But that’s just what Elda’s doctor told her after she was forced to miss scheduled appointments. The reason?  Elda had to make the impossible choice between getting to the doctor on time or caring for her son and elderly mother as their primary provider.

She’s not alone. In fact, family demands are among the most common reasons why those in need of life-saving treatments miss their appointments, according to the National Institutes of Health.

At Parkland, we believe that’s a choice no one should ever have to make.

When Elda came to us, her health was in serious decline. Simply getting through the day had become a struggle almost too much to bear.

“Just cleaning the house would make me feel out of breath and I’d have to sit down,” she said. “My body hurt. I didn’t want to go through chemotherapy, but I knew this was serious.”

Elda met with a Parkland patient navigator, who helped find ways for her mother and son to be cared for during Elda’s appointment. Her patient navigator also clarified Elda’s health needs to her, easing her anxiety about treatment.

Within two weeks, Elda was at Parkland for her first appointment. Now she’s cancer-free and goes to checkups at Parkland every four months.

After so much uncertainty, today Elda radiates one thing above all – joy.

“My whole experience and the people have been really nice,” she says. “My doctors and nurses at Parkland ask if I am doing okay. It makes a difference. I say I feel fine, and that’s a great place to be.” 

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