Enjoy Patient Stories 

Real-life stories from our patients bring Premier Health’s caring and capabilities to life. Learn more about some of the people who have benefited from our team’s knowledge and compassion. We’re proud to make a difference!

Vanessa Isroskul

Jul 14, 2022, 10:59 AM
Vanessa’s Story: Fighting Breast Cancer At Age 25
Triple positive breast cancer at age 25 resulted in a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and breast reconstruction. Read Vanessa’s story.
Triple positive breast cancer at age 25 resulted in a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and breast reconstruction. Read Vanessa’s story.
Patient Name : Vanessa Isroskul
Year : 2021
Gender : Female
MD Anderson? : No

Vanessa’s Story: Fighting Breast Cancer At Age 25

When Vanessa Isroskul was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 25, she decided to take it on with a positive attitude. With the assistance of some “awesome” caregivers, Vanessa has moved comfortably through her treatment from the biopsy, medications, a double mastectomy, and more medications. This will be followed by implants and title=radiation treatments;healthinfo=Radiation Treatment For Cancer.

The mother of two young boys, Vanessa was working at Meijer Distribution Center in June 2021 when she received the diagnosis. “Everything just happened so fast. It was scary, but my mom was with me the whole time,” she said. “I went to all my doctors’ appointments, got my genetic testing. I didn’t carry any of the genes for it. It seemed like a fluke that it happened. Plus, I was 25 and it is not something you ever think will happen,” Vanessa said.

She was no stranger to breast medical issues. At age 14, she had a benign lump removed from her left breast. Afterward, she underwent testing regularly. The results were benign. In 2021, though, Vanessa said something wasn’t right. “One day, I literally had this feeling. I thought ‘I am going to get this checked.’ Once I did, we found out it was cancer. It was caught early on,” she said. 

A care team addressed the situation head on. “It was a constant race to get it done,” she said. Her treatment for triple positive breast cancer has included six rounds of title=chemotherapy;healthinfo=What is Chemotherapy? along with a Zoladex shot each month. This was followed by a bilateral mastectomy, 14 rounds of chemotherapy, anti-estrogen pills daily, and breast expansion. Once complete, the next step will be radiation.

The treatments have been given at Miami Valley Hospital North in Englewood. “I am very comfortable there. I hang out and catch up on what everyone has been doing,” Vanessa said. “I go with the flow. I believe very strongly God has a plan; everything happens for a reason.”

Her oncologist is Roger Wood, MD; breast surgeon, Thomas Heck, MD; plastic surgeon, Todd Hicks, MD; and radiation oncologist Ryan Steinmetz, MD. Also instrumental in the care has been Emily Townsend, MSN, RN, OCN, Vanessa said. “Everyone on my care team is really awesome and I would recommend them to anyone.”

Vanessa’s parents and brother have been extremely supportive along with sons Braxton and Brayden, who are five and three. “I try to make every situation positive. I tell the boys I am going to the doctor. They are OK with it,” Vanessa said. “I have tried to make the situation fun for them. When I started losing my hair, I let them help me shave all my hair off. They thought that was fun.”

Her advice to other women includes paying attention to their bodies. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, or really how young you are. Check, always check. Your body is your body,” she said. “If you have that gut feeling that something is not right, always follow it. Make sure you are always doing self-checks because anything is possible.”

Categories :
  • Acquisition
  • Acute Care
  • Cancer
  • Cancer Information for Women
  • Convenience Seeker
  • Critical Fixer
  • Fit Searcher
  • Patient Story
  • Women
Related service lines
Related services
Related subservices
Related practices
Related videos

Keeping You Safe During COVID-19

You will find new safety measures in place when you schedule appointments and come to our facilities — all with the goal of keeping you safe as we care for you.

Contact Us

Our cancer team is here for you. Our cancer specialists have access to nationally recognized cancer care protocols and best practices, since Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. Our patients benefit from advanced local care backed by the world-renowned expertise of the nation’s leading cancer center. 

Call the Premier Health cancer hotline at (844) 316-HOPE(844) 316-4673 (4673), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to connect with a Premier Health cancer navigator.