About jenniferawilson

This blog is intended for general understanding and education about Lexington Medical Center. Nothing on the blog should be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Blog visitors with personal health or medical questions should consult their health care provider.

Local woman’s cancer battle uncovers family link

A Midlands woman’s fight against breast cancer led to a discovery that may save the lives of her sisters and daughters.

Click for Video: wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina

Kelly, Kathryn and Ashley
Kelly, Kathryn and Ashley

Kathryn Robinson’s cancer battle started more than two years ago.  “I was preparing to go to work, and while I was in the shower I just accidentally felt a lump in my breast,” said Robinson.

It had been less than two months since Robinson’s yearly mammogram, but she knew something wasn’t right. “I called the doctor and went in that afternoon,” said Robinson. “He sent me in for an ultrasound that next Monday.”

Just a few days after the ultrasound Robinson was diagnosed with breast cancer and life immediately changed for her and her family.

“When my mom was diagnosed and she talked about getting genetic testing done, that’s the first time I had ever heard of the gene,” said Robinson’s 24 year-old daughter, Ashley Lyons.

Robinson’s family quickly learned about the BRCA gene malformation. It’s hereditary and when present greatly increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In the midst of chemo, Kathryn tested positive for the gene.

“I had eight rounds of chemotherapy, and I was scheduled to do radiation after that, but because I was positive with the BRCA2 gene, they did a bilateral mastectomy,” said Robinson.

Doctors at Lexington Medical Center recommended the mastectomy and a hysterectomy in hopes of eliminating Robinson’s future cancer risks. They also advised her family to get tested for the gene.

“I had one sister that wasn’t interested in getting tested and a younger sister that I can usually persuade to do just about anything… she went and got tested,” said Robinson.

As it turned out, Robinson’s sister Kelly Moore also tested positive for the gene malformation. “I feel like I’m the lucky one,” said Moore. “Kathryn helped to educate me, and I had all of her valuable information for what she had gone through.

Moore chose to have her ovaries removed as a preventive measure, and is now getting more frequent breast exams. For Robinson’s daughter Ashley, the decision was more difficult.

“At first, I did not want to know,” said Ashley. “I did not want to be tested.” But Ashley says her older sister talked her into being tested for the gene. While her older sister does not have the BRCA malformation, Ashley does.

“At first I was like how do you test positive and do nothing about it…so that was kind of hard in the beginning,” said Ashley.

But medical oncologist Dr. Steve Madden at Lexington Medical center says at Ashley’s young age it’s okay not to undergo preventive surgery as long as she’s pro-active. “As long as you’re aware, you’re going to be on top of anything and catch it much earlier if it develops at all,” added Dr. Madden.

Kathryn has been a survivor now for two years. Her family calls her a lifesaver. “She was very positive, and she inspired all of us to take a fighting approach to it,” said Moore.

Dr. Madden says doctors usually advise anyone diagnosed with breast cancer who is under the age of 50 to be tested for the gene. They also advise immediate family members of breast cancer patients to be tested, as well.

Click for the full video: WIS TV VIDEO

Dr. Jaime Brown Price Starts Prenatal Web Series

Dr. Jaime Brown Price, our new physician with Lexington Women’s Care, discusses the do’s and don’ts during pregnancy in a new mini series called Prenatal Puzzlers. In this Jaime Brown Pricewebisode she talks about the importance of a preconception visit.

Dr. Brown Price enjoys serving women in our community and providing compassionate care. “One of the most exciting aspects of obstetrics and gynecology is that I am able to establish life long relationships with my patients as I care for them from their teenage years through childbirth and menopause,” she said.

A Lexington native, Dr. Brown Price graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina Honors College. She received her medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and completed an OB/GYN residency at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia.

Dr. Jaime Brown Price is accepting new patients.  Call Lexington Women’s Care at 803-936-8100 for an appointment or visit us online at  www.lexingtonwomenscare.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lexingtonwomenscare

Dr. Webber Talks Summer Safety for Kids

From Sunburn to bug bites – Dr. Caroline Webber of Lexington Pediatric Practice, a physician practice at Lexington Medical Center, talks to Tony Tally on WACH FOX about summer safety for children. Click the link to watch the full video: WACH_06-13-2013_22.31.41

Click the link to watch the full video: WACH_06-13-2013_22.31.41

COLUMBIA (WACH) – Pools, playgrounds, sporting events, and a lot of outdoor activity will be on the to-do list for some as the summer begins. However, staying hydrated and beating the heat will also be at the top of the list as summer temperatures rise. Dr. Caroline Webber, a pediatrician with Lexington Pediatric Practice, says hydration is one of the most important things if children are going to be out in the heat and humidity. Additionally, bug bites and sun burns are two concerns during the summer season. Protective lotions such as sunscreen lotion are recommended. “The damaging rays are the ones that are the UV rays,” says Webber. “Those are the invisible ones. UVA and UVB.” Children are most exposed to sun during their childhood, which is why protecting children throughout the summer is really important. In addition to light clothing and sunscreen, staying out of the sun during peak times of 10 am to 4pm can also be extremely helpful in preventing sunburns. Dr. Webber’s office is located at 811 West Main Street in Lexington.

LMC Receives Susan G. Komen Foundation Grant for Mammogram Screening

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 4.04.30 PM


Lexington Medical Center has received a grant from the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation’s SC Mountains to Midlands affiliate to provide 230 breast cancer screenings for uninsured and underinsured women in the Midlands.

Lexington Medical Center will begin offering the screenings to women who meet specific financial requirements. The grant money can also be used to assist with transportation to Women’s Imaging Centers in Lexington Medical Center’s network of care.

“We have always been able to help women who need diagnostic mammograms, but screening mammograms were more difficult to provide,” said Kelly Jeffcoat, Lexington Medical Center Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator. “The Komen grant enables us to offer screening mammograms which are often successful in detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages.”
The goal is early detection and treatment. Clinicians know that early detection is key to successful treatment of breast cancer.

“The biggest problem with patients who are uninsured is that they rarely have access to routine screening mammography.” said Chris Gibson, Lexington Medical Center oncology social worker.  “With these screenings, we have the potential to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages when cure rates are much higher.”
Lexington Medical Center diagnoses approximately 250 breast cancer patients each year.  The hospital’s breast program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR).  Lexington Medical Center has four Women’s Imaging centers and a mobile mammography van, all offering digital mammography.  During treatment, breast cancer patients receive the assistance of a nurse navigator who provides education and emotional support. Lexington Medical Center’s cancer program is also accredited with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

This is the second time that this chapter of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has awarded Lexington Medical Center a grant for breast cancer screenings.  The first one was in 2011 and provided approximately 250 screenings to women in the Midlands. During those screenings, two breast cancers were detected. This year, the hospital expanded the number of counties included in the grant, allowing a broader group of women in the Midlands to benefit from screening mammograms.

For more information about the grant screenings, including eligibility requirements, call 803- 791-2521.

About Lexington Medical Center

Lexington Medical Center, in West Columbia, S.C., anchors a county-wide health care network that includes six community medical centers throughout Lexington County and employs a staff of 5,900 health care professionals.  The network also includes the largest extended care facility in the Carolinas, an occupational health center and more than 60 physician practices.  At its heart is the 414-bed state-of-the-art Lexington Medical Center, with a reputation for the highest quality care.  Lexington Medical Center won “Best Hospital” by readers of The State for ten years in a row, “Best Hospital” by readers of the Free Times, “Best Place to Have a Baby” by readers of Palmetto Parent, the “Consumer Choice Award” from the National Research Corporation and the prestigious “Summit Award” from Press Ganey.  Visit http://www.lexmed.com.

About the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest breast cancer organization.  It was started by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.  Komen’s SC Mountains to Midlands affiliate is one of 125 affiliates around the nation dedicated to ending breast cancer in our communities.  Komen affiliates fund innovative programs that help women and men overcome the barriers to breast cancer screening and treatment.  For more information, visit http://www.komenscmm.org.

Vote for Dr. Epps in Dancing with the Stars, Lexington

It takes two to tango, and Dr. Epps is cutting a rug for Lexington Medical Center in the Dancing with the Stars, Lexington competition on April 22, at the Koger Center.

Dr. Amy Epps, a cardiologist with Lexington Cardiology and a Lexington school graduate, is competing against 11 local celebrities in the event sponsored by Lexington School District 1 Education Foundation.

Each vote raises funds to support district programs and initiatives that are outside the scope of the district’s Annual Fund Budget, such as outfitting STEM Labs at Lexington 1 schools, equipping media centers with up-to-date technology and supporting professional development for teachers.

Dr. Epps has been training with professional dancers from Columbia’s Ballroom Company since early February, check out the video below:

Vote for Dr. Epps today!

Barbara Willm honored by Girl Scouts with Women of Distinction Award

Barbara Willm 2013
The Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands has honored Lexington Medical Center’s Barbara Willm, Vice President of Community Relations, at the 20th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Dinner. Willm was recognized Thursday, April 11, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia for her excellence in leadership throughout the midlands.

“I am honored to be a part of such an esteemed group of women and it is even more special because I was a Girl Scout,” said Mrs. Willm.

First launched in 1993, the Women of Distinction dinner is a recognition and fundraising affair that celebrates outstanding women and their impact on the community. The event pays tribute to women who exemplify excellence in service, leadership, community, visibility and professionalism.

“I was proud to nominate Barbara for this outstanding award,” said Bootsie Wynne, Assistant Director Business Partner of Human Resources at Lexington Medical Center. “When I saw that the criteria asked for women who excelled in professional community leadership andcommunity service, who are excellent role models for girls and have community visibility, I knew she fit the bill perfectly. Not only was Barbara a Girl Scout when she was younger, she has also gone on to exemplify women in leadership. The goal of the Girl Scouts of SC Mountains to Midlands is to build girls with courage confidence and character. I think Barbara is a great example for all girls and women alike,” added Wynne.

Girl Scouts exists to transform today’s girls into tomorrow’s leaders. Girls face many critical issues including school bullying, childhood obesity, teen pregnancy, self-esteem issues, substance abuse, and performance pressure in school. Participation in the Girl Scouts is proven to make a life-long difference.

“I’ve worked with Barbara for eight years and she always manages to bring life to the mission of our organization,” said LaTanza Duncan, Chief Advancement Officer, Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands.

Barbara Willm is one of four exceptional community members to receive the 2013 honor:

• Cynthia B. Cooper: Vice President, Government Programs Compliance Office with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
• Sara B. Fisher: Chief Operating Officer with NBSC
• Elizabeth “Liz” McMillan: General Manager, Gamecock Sports Marketing, University of South Carolina
• Elise Partin: Mayor of Cayce, SC and Adjunct Faculty, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
• Barbara Willm: Vice President of Community Relations with the Lexington Medical Center

Guest Blogger: An LMC Nurse’s Colon Cancer Story

Please welcome guest blogger Jennifer Warren, an ER nurse at Lexington Medical Center. This month, she was diagnosed with colon cancer at the young age of 41. She shares her story here.
As I write this post, it’s March — Colon Cancer Awareness Month. I’ll get back to that in a minute, but first a little background. I’ve been meaning to write an article for months about Lexington Medical Center and the quality that is inside the walls of this place with this name. I’ve worked for LMC in some way or another since January of 2000. The last 7 years I’ve worked as a Registered Nurse.

LMC nurse and colon cancer patient Jennifer Warren with her husband, son and family dogs.

During my time working at LMC I have also completed travel RN contracts at places like Stanford University Hospital and Clinics in Palo Alto, CA and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, which are considered top ranking facilities nationally for a number of things. I am an Emergency Room nurse and I love what I do. I have flown home from California, or wherever it was I was on assignment, to work so I could ensure I did not lose my employment status at LMC.

About 6 months ago, I began having a very localized pain on my left side under my left ribs. It started out pretty infrequently, and I had no other symptoms. I checked a few things, but I thought it might be a kidney stone due to the location of pain, and didn’t think much more about it – I am 41-years-old and have no health history. The pain started occurring more frequently, but again I really had no other symptoms. I participated in PATH, the LMC employee benefit called Positive Attitudes Towards Health, and all of my lab work was what I expected in December. At the end of February I had two nights where I was so uncomfortable that I could not sleep, which prompted an Urgent Care visit. On March 1, at LMC’s Urgent Care in Lexington, I was told I may have colon cancer and I needed to follow up. March 1 – the beginning of Colon Cancer Awareness month.

I was able to schedule an appointment the following Monday to meet with a GI doctor to set up my colonoscopy. The colonoscopy was on Tuesday, and at that time I was told that he was more certain than not that I had colon cancer. During my colonoscopy they had also discovered that my colon was almost obstructed so regardless of the pathology results, whatever was there had to be removed. Pathology results at the end of the week confirmed his thought, and luckily I already had an appointment with Southern Surgical Group. Last week I had my surgery – 2 weeks to the day after the initial diagnosis. I still have a long road ahead of me, but am so very thankful to have a resource like Lexington Medical Center as my guide. I have been contacted by a Nurse Navigator and will be able to use the knowledge and understanding of the Navigator as I go through all of these new steps.

I wouldn’t have chosen any other place to go to for care, and my experiences as both an employee, and now as a patient, have assured me that this was the right decision. I cannot encourage others more to listen to your body, be aware of signs and symptoms, and follow through with medical screening guidelines.

Note from LMC: Join Lexington Medical Center’s Colon Cancer Challenge this Saturday, March 24th at Dutch Fork High School to raise awareness about colon cancer! The event includes 65-mile and 25-mile bike rides, an 8K run and a 1-mile family fun run/walk. Learn more here.

Heart to Heart: My Mother’s Battle with Heart Disease

by Crissie Miller Kirby

My mother Sandy Miller is a heart disease survivor.

One summer day in 2004, my family hosted a party to celebrate my brother’s engagement. Everyone was laughing, talking and enjoying the evening. Then, things turned terrifying.

Crissie Miller Kirby and her mom Sandy Miller in Batesburg-Leesville

I was talking to my mom, then turned my back. I heard a commotion behind me and turned around to see my mom lying on the floor. My initial thought was that someone had been having a little too much fun and had accidentally knocked her on the floor. If only that were true.

As we tried to get my mother up, it was quickly evident that something much more serious was taking place. We called 911 and the paramedics arrived. I remember moving away from the crowd; there was nothing I could do because I had no medical training. Someone said that they were having a difficult time getting her to respond. I was absolutely terrified.

I’d been married for 4 years and my husband and I were beginning to talk about starting a family in the near future. I couldn’t imagine my mom not being around for that. That night, during that brief time, all of those plans flashed before my eyes. I was convinced I was going to lose my mom that night. I was 26 years old and my mom, only 54.

An ambulance took my mom to the hospital, where she regained consciousness. Nearly a week of tests revealed she needed a pacemaker implanted. All I could think of then was my Granny Edna, my mom’s mother, who had been gone for almost seven years.

I’ll never forget that mid-November day in 1997 as I sat in an 8:00 religion class at Columbia College when there was a knock on the classroom door. A staff member asked to take me out of class. Immediately, I knew something was wrong.

That knock on the door brought the news that my grandmother had succumbed to the congestive heart failure, degenerative heart disease and diabetes that had plagued her for years. As a small child, I remembered being taken to the hospital where my grandmother was recovering from having a pacemaker implanted. In all of my memories of her, she was never really able to get out of the house and play with her grandchildren. She taught us to love board games, made beautiful afghans that we all treasure to this day. She also loved The Price is Right and soap operas. But, I have very few memories of her outside her house, except to walk a little way to the car or maybe to a swing.

Would those be the same type of memories that my own unborn children would have with my own mother? Would she ever even know those potential children? As it turned out, I’m sure I worried too much. Mama had her pacemaker implanted and was home from the hospital within a day.

About six months after having her pacemaker implanted, my mom underwent major surgery to clip a brain aneurysm; one that was discovered because my dad took her to the hospital thinking that she was suffering from a heart-related illness.

These days, my mother is a 62-year-old retiree who, while suffering from short-term memory loss as a result of the aneurysm, delights in seeing her three grandsons any time she possibly can. She loves watching them play soccer and T-ball and attending school programs and other events.

As women, we often focus so much of our time and energy on taking care of others, often neglecting our own well-being. I know I have found this to be true in my own life. As a single mom to two young boys, I now focus the majority of my time and energy on my children. I cave to the ease of fast food restaurants and always seem to find excuses why I cannot get the exercise I know that I need.

My mom was always someone I admired: a woman who worked full-time, but still managed to get everything done. I’ve aspired to be like her; however, I don’t want to become a statistic or continue the family history of heart-related health problems. I don’t ever want my boys to sit in a hospital room or emergency room, wondering if I will ever meet their children.

Already, I know I am at risk for heart disease given my family history. Over the last few months, I’ve begun to take this risk a little more “to heart.” I’m looking at ways to change my lifestyle to accommodate being a little more “heart healthy.” Cooking and eating at home with my children has been the biggest recent change, along with giving up sugary, caffeinated drinks and sweet tea.

I’ve realized that I don’t know nearly enough about taking the best care I can of myself and my heart. I do know that my next step is to use to a Christmas gift I received – a one-year membership to the Lexington County Leisure Center. It was a gift given with love, from the heart, by my dad and my mom.

The Doctor Is In: Women’s Heart Health

Today is the American Heart Association’s Wear Red Day, working to raise awareness about heart disease in women.

Did you know, more women than men die of heart disease? Or, that women are 5 times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer?

Dr. Jeffrey Travis is Lexington Medical Center’s new heart surgeon. Check out what he says about women’s heart health.

Dr. Travis & Women’s Cardiac Health from Lexington Medical Center on Vimeo.

Know Your Numbers

When it comes to numbers, most women know their credit card number, shoe size and dress size.  But when it comes to heart health, we need to know some other numbers, too.

Take heart…

Your goals should be:

Blood pressure:  120/80

Total cholesterol:  Less than 200

LDL cholesterol:  Less than 130 or less than 100 if you have other risk factors

HDL cholesterol:  Greater than 60

Triglycerides:  Less than 150

BMI:  Less than 25

Minutes of daily exercise:  At least 30 minutes

Cigarettes per day:  Zero

Learn more about cardiovascular care on our hospital website.