About AOA

The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until all the children are in bed.
- Unknown

 

AOA Patient Testimonial

AOA Patient Testimonial

It is with great pride that we share a few words from our AOA patients:

Open Letter to AOA from Ralon Violette

To: Maricopa OB GYN & Jill Bernstein
From: Patient: Ralon Violette
Date: March 3, 2012

It is not every person who can honestly say that their doctor is a valued member of their family. But that is exactly how I feel about my relationship with Maricopa OB- GYN. A simple “thumbs-up” or complimentary write-up about a courteous and professional staff would not begin to scratch the surface of the special place in my heart I feel for the staff there. It’s easy to feel grateful to a doctor who has saved your life. That goes without saying. Yet my experience has been even better than the obvious “I’m still alive thanks to my doctor.” When I say that Dr. Mayer is like a member of the family, I mean that because she has been there for me through joy, fear, anticipation and loss. She continues to look out for me in a way I have never expected a doctor would. For nearly twelve years, Maricopa OB-GYN has taken great care of me. I not only have received this phenomenal care from Dr Mayer yet continued support and advocacy from Dr. Erickson, Mary Frazee and their staff.

Spring 2003

My husband and I began trying for a baby in December 2002 and were fortunate in becoming pregnant with a due date of early September 2003. Thousands of patients have gone through this joyful life event with the care and guidance of Maricopa OB-GYN. But not every pregnant patient had a detour like I did. In one of my early check-ups, my nurse, Mary Frazee noticed a spot on my abdomen that looked abnormal to her. She let me know, “You need to get this looked at—TODAY.” Thankfully, I took her seriously and got it looked at right away. Sure enough, it was cancer. It turned out to be Stage II Melanoma that needed surgery right away to avoid further progression. The fear of losing my child and perhaps my own life was almost overwhelming. Dr. Erickson was great through the process and guided my treatment one step at a time, referring me to dermatologists and oncologists who took care of me and our baby. Rather than take credit for the great work and (somewhat) early detection that helped lead to my full recovery, Mary Frazee simply said to me, “your baby saved your life.” Taking a situation as scary as cancer and using it to remind me of the amazing bond I would have with my child is a great example of the selflessness of the staff at Maricopa OB-GYN. I recovered in time to have our healthy boy via C-section in August 2003.

Summer 2006

Perhaps the best test of any relationship; even a doctor-patient relationship, is how adversity is handled. In 2006 my husband and I tried for another baby and were happy to come to Dr. Erickson’s office to go through the process again. Sadly, from the first ultrasound, the doctor let us know that the pregnancy was not looking as it should early on. Dr. Erickson prepared us for the likelihood that the pregnancy may not work out. When we found that the pregnancy ended, we were devastated. The team of doctors and staff were amazing in that they were there for us but still let us grieve. That kind of balance in handling a sad situation is such a delicate thing. Looking back, the staff gave me the perfect amount of support. Since my husband and I agreed that our family was complete, I made the change to seeing Dr. Mayer for my ongoing future needs.

Ooph & Double-Ooph. I’ll see your double-ooph and raise you a double-mast!

Uterine fibroids. Painful, messy periods. Anemia. These are not a few of my favorite things, but in the years after our last attempt for a child they began to take their toll. I ultimately put those nuisances to an end with a partial hysterectomy. Again, Dr. Erickson and Dr. Mayer were both there for me. There were a few options I had and as I expected, Dr. Mayer made sure I made an informed decision.

But wait, there’s more! My father, my life’s role model found a lump in his breast on Christmas Eve 2008. He went through the normal process of an ultrasound and biopsy.

Sure enough, he was diagnosed with breast cancer. He had an amazing group of doctors specifically Dr. Charles Castillo (Surgeon) and Dr. Salma Saed (Oncologist). My dad, the toughest guy I know, went through the recommended removal of breast tissue and lymph nodes, robust chemo and radiation plan for all of 2009. As I mentioned earlier, this care was a family affair, anyone messing with my dad had to mess with me. As he was finishing up his treatment, my dad’s doctor recommended that he get genetics counseling since he has three daughters. My dad went to Jane Congleton for genetics counseling, presenting his full family history and was BRCA2 positive for a genetic mutation. Finding this out, my dad had immediate concerns for his daughters and also his extended family. My dad recommended that we (his daughters) get tested.

We waited until my dad’s treatment plan was complete before getting tested. My sisters both came back negative for the mutation. I came back positive.

I immediately reached out to Dr. Mayer for a consultation; MOGA was able to get me in within a week. Dr. Mayer showed genuine care and concern for my situation and the decisions before me. I shared the scary statistics around risks of this mutation tied to breast, uterine and other cancers with her around my genetic mutation. My own history with cancer was starting to make more sense to me. Dr. Mayer helped me to build a plan around getting the answers I needed to make the decisions I needed to make to be here for my family long term. Together along with my doctor partners, genetic counselor and my family, I made the decision to complete my 2nd oophorectomy at age 40 with Dr Mayer knowing that that would bring me into full on menopause. Dr. Mayer advised me that this would be a huge undertaking and a long process and that she would be with me every step of the way. Dr. Mayer even called me personally on a weekend to let me know that the removed ovary was cancer free.

One month later, I moved forward with a double mastectomy with reconstruction. Again, I was advised that this would be a year long, painful process yet had the support from not only Dr Mayer but also the specialists that she referred me to like Dr William Jacobsen (cosmetic surgeon) and Dr Charles Castillo (surgeon). As I sit here today, I am cancer free and feel confident that the changes I will continue to endure with my medical condition will be easier to deal with knowing I have such GREAT doctors.

Thank you Dr. Mayer, Dr Erickson & Mary Frazee for your exceptional care over the last 12 years! I am so grateful!

Ralon Violette