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My Story

Pat | age 71
Community Relations
Inverness, FL
11 years, 11 months since her MammoSite treatment.

Shock, disbelief and fear! These are the words that came to my mind and that of my husband, when my doctor told both of us that I had breast cancer.

Me. Someone who had received regular mammograms for almost 20 years and had no family history of breast cancer. How could this be happening?

After my second mammogram revealed that I did indeed have a mass in my breast, my primary physician recommended that I see a surgeon for further diagnoses and treatment.

My surgeon, Dr. Pham, is an incredible 4-foot, 11-inch dynamo! She explained that the next step was to have a biopsy and based on the results, a plan of action would be made for my treatment. She really didn’t have to say the word “cancer”. It was how she spoke and what she said to me that I knew the possibility was very real and that this might be exactly what I was facing.

I worried all weekend as anyone would do; trying to keep my spirits high; but knowing that the outcome might not be that for which I had hoped. I prayed the day of the biopsy and waited for the results that were to come three days later. That day finally came and as my husband and I went for the results, we vowed to each other that no matter what the outcome, we would face it together. It is wonderful to have such a supportive and loving partner.

Dr. Pham told us the results and for a few minutes, it didn’t really sink in…that is until she started to explain what our next steps would be in my treatment plan. When she explained the details of the surgery that she would do and the follow-up treatment that would be needed, she told us about a fairly new technique for radiation therapy called MammoSite, and that I might be a candidate for this procedure.

She explained that, based on the outcome of the surgery, and if I met all the other criteria, she would insert a catheter. This, she explained, would allow me to receive the radiation therapy necessary through the catheter for 5 days, twice a day, instead of the normal five to seven weeks of therapy. I held on to that thought as I went into surgery and again prayed that the outcome of my surgery would be ideal for this course of treatment.

And as it turned out, I was indeed a candidate for MammoSite therapy and one week after my surgery, I began radiation therapy with my oncologist, Dr. Joseph Bennett. Knowing that in five days I would begin the journey back to my “normal” self was a blessing beyond anything I could have ever expected.

Without enduring the many weeks of radiation therapy, I went back to work part-time two weeks later and was able to start back full-time shortly thereafter.

Sometimes I feel guilty that I was able to get on the road to recovery so easily while others battle far longer. It is my greatest hope that I can someday repay the gift that I was given by helping other women as they begin their “journey” through a difficult period in their lives.

As for me, I know I have a “journey” of my own to follow but thanks to the care given to me by all of my doctors, the MammoSite therapy I was fortunate enough to receive, and the love of my family and friends, each day is a gift and I intend to use them well.

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.