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My Story

Carol | age 88
Retired School Secretary
Syracuse, NY
13 years, 7 months since her MammoSite treatment.

Iím glad to say that I am one of the lucky breast cancer patients. Lucky because I fit the criteria to have MammoSite therapy. I was a little surprised when I first was told I had breast cancer because there wasnít a history of breast cancer in my family. I had been taking progesterone hormone pills for years (29) and was told that if I hadnít contracted breast cancer by now, it would be unlikely that I would do so now. WRONG!!

Fortunately for me, my tumor was discovered by a routine annual mammogram. It was less than a centimeter large and was a stage 1 cancer and the fact that my lymph nodes were not infected and that I am a very ďyoungĒ senior citizen (76) put me in the right criteria for MammoSite.

I had my operation on September 19, 2005 and began my MammoSite treatments in October, 2005. Needless to say, I was very nervous and apprehensive about a fairly new method of treating breast cancer, but Dr. Greco convinced me that it would be rather painless and most beneficial to me to undergo treatment for just 5 days as opposed to 6-7 weeks of radiation. Iím so glad I finally agreed to do it.

Dr. Greco was right about it being painless. She gave me a local anesthetic and I was able to watch her insert the balloon into my breast on a monitor. I didnít feel a thing! It felt a bit strange at first having this foreign object in my breast, I was afraid I would somehow accidentally dislodge it while sleeping (I am a very restless sleeper.) The only inconvenience I experienced was having to sleep on my back. I usually sleep on my left side (my left breast was the one operated on.) Poor me!!!

On my first day of treatment, I was very nervous and apprehensive Ė but I soon was put at ease by the wonderful doctors and staff at the radiation office. The first thing they did was make a ďcastĒ of my body on the gurney. This was to insure that I would be in the precise position for each and every treatment. They marked my breast so they could align my body to this special machine and by doing so I would receive the radiation treatment at the correct place. Science Ė isnít it wonderful!! The hardest thing for me to do was to hold my left arm up and lay as still as possible for the full treatment. Do you know how it is to stay still when youíre told not to move?

Once I was positioned I was rolled into the ďradiation roomĒ. Left alone, the radiologist and attendants went into the adjoining room. The radiologist determined the dosage and time of radiation and I was told that they would increase both with each treatment as determined by the radiologist. I think my first treatment started at 12 minutes and some seconds and I donít know the dosage. Anyway, my first treatment seemed very long to me since I could do nothing but stare at the blocks in the ceiling. I remember there was a beautiful mural on the far wall and thinking Ė maybe I would suggest to them maybe moving it to the ceiling instead.

Finally, it was over, I felt perfectly fine, was able to drive myself home, have a nice lunch and relax. My afternoon treatment went without a hitch. My first day was over and I was very relieved. I was told I could bring in my favorite CDs to listen to. So for the next four days I listened to my Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin CDs. The time seemed to pass quickly and I became more relaxed and ďat homeĒ with my new found friends.

Itís been one year and 6 months since my lumpectomy. Iíve had two mammograms since then Ė both cancer-free. Iím being taken care of by my excellent doctors. Except for the two small scars on my breast there is no evidence of the operation. There never was any discoloration or burning of the outer skin. I was a little more tired at times, but there never was any pain. The scar tissue has softened and if I must say so myself, I think, for an old lady, Iím in good shape for the shape Iím in. Seriously though, I thank God every day and am very grateful to those responsible for this wonderful treatment, and I would highly recommend the treatment to those eligible for the treatment.

This profile is solely the words of the person who received MammoSite Targeted Radiation Therapy to treat breast cancer. Note that this profile is specific to this particular person, and experiences will vary.