Jossalyn Larson was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in May 2018. Since then she has endured 21 weeks of chemotherapy, a double bilateral mastectomy and radiation treatments at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.
Radiation oncology patients like Larson are armed with warmth while receiving treatments in the form of fleece arm sleeves. Patients’ arms are exposed when they wear gowns, and the sleeves are a welcome touch.
The mother of Janet Bradow, senior radiation therapist, and friends at the retirement home where they live have been sewing the sleeves out of fleece blankets for several years. Bradow purchases blankets at sales like Black Friday. “One blanket can make a lot of sleeves,” she says. “We heat them in the warmers and the patients use them throughout their treatments.”
“Patients love them, they give them comfort,” adds Jessica Noble, senior radiation therapist.
On April 4, Larson wore the sleeves for the last time, while she received her final radiation. She then donned a tiara and rang the bell signifying the end of treatment, with family and radiation therapy staff by her side, sharing tears, smiles and hugs.
“The care has been absolutely amazing,” Larson says. “I always looked forward to seeing the staff, and the arm sleeves were amazing. I didn’t know how lucky I was to receive treatment here. A big thank you to everyone at Siteman.”