Author: Mary Mann

Mesothelioma Resources

http://mesothelioma.com                                                                           This site includes information about asbestos exposure, how American military members were exposed over time, treatment options and legal assistance. http://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma                                                         Asbestos.com is a resource site that provides information about this devastating cancer. The site includes the names of doctors specializing in treatment and lawyers managing legal cases. Mesothelioma is caused by ingesting asbestos into the lungs. This asbestos is usually found in the work place.   

When you have had enough treatment

I have had three entirely different cancers and three different  radiation treatments all within four and a half years. I had to count that twice on my fingers to actually believe it. My first set of radiation treatments was for breast cancer. It was this set of treatments that came back to haunt me this winter. But that is not my focus now. My treatments were at Kaseman’s MD Anderson. I went every day for three weeks at double dose instead of the usual six weeks. I had been  reassured that the results were the same. I had to drive across town. It was like a field trip. I knew that once I got there, I could have a good cup of coffee. They had a Keurig coffee machine. It was a carrot for me, and it worked. I would sign in. Change into a gown. Lock up my wallet. Then I would sit with other patients to wait my turn. This is the part that sticks with me. It was in this room that …

Complications from Breast cancer treatment continues

I am recovering. Surgery was done  on 13 December. It was a surgery to debride an abscess caused by necrotic breast tissue due to radiation. As I said before, it was day surgery at Presbyterian Rust Hospital in Rio Rancho. I have had several surgeries there and always feel safe and well cared for. There was not much in the way of post op pain, so the start of my recovery was good. The scary part, especially with breast surgery, is when you take off the bandage for the first time to see what you have left. It is not like it is  in the movies where you are seen lying in your hospital bed and the doctor gently removes your bandages. He looks at your wound in a reassuring manner and you feel that you will be okay. You are home. Alone. In your bathroom. You have a blue binder holding you in. You also have the addition of a drain that must be managed. The drain is called a Jackson Pratt. It is …

Cancer and more surgery

My surgery will be coming up soon. When I learned I would need it, I felt depressed. I had been going to the wound clinic once a week and I was irrigating and packing the wound twice a day for several weeks now. I thought these measures were working. They weren’t. I remember the doctor saying if I needed surgery that there would be little left. Another dip into depression. So, I continue the care and await the upcoming surgery. I had breast cancer in October 2013. I had surgery and then a series of radiation treatments in 2014. The radiated tissue has become necrotic. A common occurrence that I didn’t know about. The dead tissue needs to be removed. This surgery is considered a ‘day surgery’. I will go home the same day of the surgery. My son becomes the nurse. The cost of a nurse or nurses is eliminated when patients are sent home the same day of surgery. It is a big improvement on their profit. I am fine. My body is …

Radiation of the breast can cause the tissue to become necrotic.

Radiation of the breast can cause the tissue to become necrotic. I learned this a couple of weeks ago when I developed a foul smelling lesion on my right breast six years after radiation for breast cancer. The breast cancer surgeon knew instantly what it was. I had dead, rotting tissue in my right breast. The formation of necrotic tissue following radiation is a common occurrence. I was sent to a wound clinic. A wound clinic manages wounds that are hard to heal. These nurses are the experts. They know everything there is to know about the care and healing of difficult wounds. My wound is about an inch in diameter and it is quite deep. Initially, it was foul smelling. It still is but not as bad. I was given the equipment to treat my own wound.  I irrigate the cavity with a blunt needled syringe loaded with  Dakin’s solution, an antiseptic liquid. Then I insert gauze dampened with the solution and laced with Santyl and cover the wound with a dressing. The Santyl …

Stage three thyroid cancer

My thyroid cancer was found quite by accident. I was having lung symptoms so my rheumatologist thought that I might be having problems with the methotrexate. She ordered a chest CT scan. It turned out that I wasn’t having lung problems I was having a different problem.  I had a mass growing on my thyroid. This was my first cancer and I was in total denial that I might possibly have cancer. My patient doctor explained that the next step was a biopsy. I put the procedure off as long as I could. I was a working woman and I needed to work. Finally, the day arrived. In the x-ray department I was given a local anesthetic. Guided by ultrasound and a long needle, my doctor captured a number of samples from my thyroid. When the results came back, it was definitely cancer. It turned out to be stage three papillary carcinoma. It is not an overly aggressive cancer and it  is slow growing. Lucky me. My thyroid labs had always been normal. There was …

Breast cancer complications

I have survived three cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and a hip replacement.  I expected that I would eventually have another cancer. The disease seemed to be written in my stars. However, I wasn’t expecting another complication from my breast cancer treatment. My first complication was a rare uterine cancer called uterine papillary serous cancer. It is a side effect of being on tamoxifen.  This cancer is aggressive and behaves similarly to ovarian cancer in that it is aggressive and can be deadly. It is never caught early. I was fortunate because it was picked up by my rheumatologist on a lower back MRI. So, I spent the entire 2018 with a biopsy, then major robotic surgery, followed by a summer of chemo, finished off with vaginal radiation for the holidays. My complication was a breast abscess formed in necrotic fat tissue as a result of radiation for breast cancer. Any surgery or radiation will cause scarring in the healthy tissue. I had a hard lump in my breast after surgery and radiation. I understood it to …