Dr. Khaw Patient Story

 
"Should I have my breasts removed?"
 
Trisha Mott-Wilson
Vancouver
Age 30
Surgeon: Dr. Jamie Khaw, PeaceHealth Medical Group Surgery
 

Trisha Mott-Wilson knows a good surgeon when she sees one. After enduring more than 20 surgeries in 20 years for endometriosis, knee and heart problems, Trisha learned she had breast cancer before she turned 30. In April of 2008, Trisha found a lump in her breast, but a biopsy ultimately came back negative for cancer. This is when Dr. Jamie Khaw, a general surgeon at PeaceHealth Medical Group Surgery, came into Trisha's life.

Trisha's future husband Matt, an Army Reservist, was scheduled to deploy to Iraq, and Trisha wanted to have the masses removed before he left - she also wanted to marry the man she loved. Dr. Khaw scheduled the surgery right away. Trisha and Matt were married, and within a few weeks, the masses were removed. An evaluation revealed the lumps had indeed been tumors and that Trisha had aggressive cancer in her right breast - she would later find out it was in both breasts.

Dr. Khaw wrote a letter to Matt's commanding officer, asking that Matt's deployment be delayed so that he could stay in Vancouver and take care of his ailing wife. The same day the couple found out Trisha had cancer, Matt's commander's husband died of cancer. She said to him: "You are not going anywhere."

Trisha, Matt and Dr. Khaw had an extremely difficult decision in front of them - should Trisha have her breasts removed?

"Dr. Khaw took an hour-and-a-half with my husband, my mother-in-law and me. She went over every possible option. She got teary eyed with us, she hugged all of us. It was like my bigger sister with us helping to make this decision," said Trisha. "The double mastectomy turned out to be the right decision and the one to do quickly. Without her help, I might have gone the easier route, and they would have never known about the lump in my left breast. Dr. Khaw didn't give me the answer, but she encouraged me."

Trisha - known as radio personality Trish the Dish - laughs a lot, even at her perilous journey through cancer. And she takes refuge in Matt and her two new stepsons, her good friends and her long career in Motocross racing.

Recovering from breast reconstruction, Trisha reflected on her stay at Southwest Washington Medical Center and her time with Dr. Khaw.

"She is the best surgeon I have ever had. She made everything so easy," said Trisha. "Everything completely worked out."