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Personalized Cancer Care

Personalized Cancer Care

"It's something you don't want to go through," Marilyn Blase said of her experience with radiation therapy for breast cancer in the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center. "But I felt everyone in that department did everything they could to make it as comfortable as possible." Marilyn was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2011. While checking out her arm after a fall, she felt something irregular in her left breast. She immediately scheduled a mammogram. "I was really shocked, but they moved right ahead. I had the results of the biopsy and a plan within a week. After you know there is a problem you don't want to sit around. The sooner you get to it the better the prognosis."

Marilyn first had a mastectomy, then six-weeks of daily 20 minute radiation therapy treatments. "I got along okay at first, but I have arthritis in my shoulder. In the mold you have to lay with your arms over your head. Toward the middle of the treatment it was painful." However, Marilyn said radiation oncologist, Rick Davis, MD, and the nurses were always monitoring her and very helpful. "The gals always asked me if I wanted a warm blanket. They offered me aromatherapy. You felt that you were in a place where they were concerned for the person."

Marilyn took a little time to recover after treatment, but was soon back into her busy lifestyle which includes singing in the church choir, teaching Sunday School, playing bridge, traveling, gardening and volunteering at Mercy. Because of the care she received previously in the Heart and Lung Center, and now in the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center, Marilyn said, "I really felt that I wanted to give something back to Mercy."

Note: One of the advantages of the new TrueBeam linear accelerator now being installed in the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center is that it will deliver radiation faster than the current model, reducing the time some patients have to hold an uncomfortable position.


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