All posts tagged: cancer attitude

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 …

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 …

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 …

Mary Mann Cancer Journal

Cancer Complications Never go away

Cancer Journal update November 5, 2019 I had forsaken this website as I felt my cancer was in the past. I now understand that cancer is never really in the past. This month is the six year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. It is also the one year anniversary for vaginal radiation of my uterine cancer. I spent most of last year being treated for uterine papillary serous carcinoma. It is a rare, aggressive cancer similar to ovarian cancer in behavior. It is caused by the breast cancer drug, Tamoxifen. I have spent most of the year recovering from major robotic surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I am stronger. My mind is back to its former self. I am so happy and relieved. Now I have an open wound over my breast cancer scar tissue. My new breast cancer surgeon says that after being exposed to radiation, breast fat (what we feel as our breast) becomes necrotic and that damaged tissue breaks the skin looking for an out. I now have a half inch lesion. …

Uterine papillary serous cancer 2018

I became suspicious that there was more to my D&C and biopsy than I was expecting. My GYN Doc called me in to her office a week early to discuss my biopsy results. It was also her day for surgery.  She came up from the OR suite just to talk to me. Bad signs. I like her. She is a petite woman of Asian heritage. Friendly. Personable. Professional. She quickly arrived carrying pictures she had taken during the D&C and a copy of the pathology report. She handed it to me. I read serous cancer. Reconfirmed. No doubt about it. She said she wasn’t familiar with this type of cancer, but I suspect she was playing the discussion forward to the next doctor. I have an appointment with an experienced GYN oncology surgeon on Monday. Uterine papillary serous cancer, UPSC for short, is also called uterine serous cancer and uterine serous adenocarcinoma. Docs and Google will understand if you just say serous cancer. It is a rare subset of endometrial cancer. It is relentlessly aggressive …

I am officially Cancer Girl New Mexico

As I was recovering from my hip replacement, my RA doc thought it might be time to try the biologic Actemra. It worked for me before hip issue. It was time to do it again. But, she said, first we needed to check out the change in my uterus that was noted on my hip MRI. She ordered an ultrasound of my uterus that included a vaginal probe (didn’t know they could do it.) Actually, she handed me the probe and told me to put it in. I did it. Results showed a thickened uterus consistent with tamoxifen use. It also showed a mass. Next stop was the GYN doc who thought it was a polyp not cancer since there was no bleeding. Next stop was outpatient surgery of a D&C and biopsy. She was optimistic. The results weren’t good. It is sometimes called Uterine Serous carcinoma, or uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC), or serous adenocarcinoma. It is easily googled just writing serous cancer.My doc said she didn’t know much about this cancer. She referred …

Laughter Yoga

Did you miss Laughter Yoga at the Conference? Or perhaps you would like to do it again?   Laughter Yoga led by Barbara Carroon, certified laughter yoga instructor, is offered at Cancer Support Now’s Fourth Saturday Support Group  April  23, 2016  11am Adelante  in Albuquerque. Call Patricia Torn at 307-3414 or email her at ptorn@comcast.net  to let her know you are attending. Open to all caregivers and survivors.   Directions to Adelante 3900 Osuna NE: Take San Mateo exit off I-25. Head west on Osuna. 3/10’s mile west of Jefferson (there is a McDonalds at the se corner of Jefferson and Osuna), on south side of Osuna, turn south on Gluton which runs the along west side of Adelante. First place you can turn left takes you into the west side parking lot of Adelante. Located on first floor. Do not go to the Big doors main entrance. To the right of those doors  enter through the first small door in the middle of the building on west side.       “Wake at dawn with a winged heart and be thankful for another day of loving.”   KAHLIL GIBRAN   http://www.cancersupportnow.org Like us on facebook    http://www.facebook.com/cancersupportnow Patricia Torn Director of Programs  

Cancer Support Now Conference time

I was selling raffle tickets for our chocolate gift basket♥. Guests were choosing items from the breakfast table. Others were meeting old friends; starting new friendships registration packets in hand.  Sandy♥ was on the stage ready to welcome everyone. Dr Michael Linver♥ would be arriving soon for the keynote. I stood there talking with a woman who has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She had the surgery a few weeks ago and would be having radiation next. Her experience had been such a whirlwind that she was still absorbing what had happened to her. She was looking for answers. And she wanted to feel that she was not the only one. She was tentative. But she was here. She was me one year ago. One year ago I had completed breast cancer radiation three months before  and thyroid cancer radiation one month before. The conference was new to me. It was a port in the storm.  Kind faces not in scrubs. Welcoming. Informative. A chance to speak out. A chance to hear and be heard. I was …

A marked woman

Radiation treatment follows certain protocols. My treatment is at the MD Anderson satellite here in Albuquerque. After meeting with the radiation oncologist, Dr. G, I have my simulation appointment. This includes a CT scan, painting on the bull’s eyes with magic marker and tape, measuring for an arm mold for placement. My breast is bare to three people. Since it has already had a mammogram, an ultrasound, a stereotactic core biopsy, wire placement and surgery, it is beginning to feel like community property and is no longer shy. Now it has war paint so is feeling pretty bold. Next the experts will do their calculations, the mold will be made and I will be ready to go with the three week plan plus a extra week to zap the surgical site. This means treatments five days a week and with the extra week, it will be four weeks or twenty treatments. My choices were the standard six week plan, the three week plan at double dose or the one week plan that includes inserting a …

Presbyterian Cancer Education Series 6 week workshop

Workshops   Silver Linings Survivorship Services: bring out the best you through exercise Funded by Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital, 8300 Constitution Ave NE, ABQ, NM 87110   www.phs.org Six week program, 2 hours. All sessions include stretching and journaling. Each week is themed with an expert speaker. Intro, lymphedema, fatigue and activities of daily living, nutrition and dietary considerations, peripheral neuropathy and cognitive impairment, long term side effects and exercise. Excellent program. Informative and helpful. Well worth it. We all agreed that we learned a lot. Gretl Berneart OTR/L, CLT-LANA                           Ada Portman, MPT, CLT                  Ann Mustoe, RN ONS Jan Esparza, RD                  Monica Bartley, Exercise Specialist I understand that this program will be repeated.  Contact 505-559-8761 to find out more about the workshop