Patient stories

  1. David Farrell

    Volunteer Firefighter threatened by Tongue Tumor

    David Farrell lives and works in the small town of Holyoke, Colorado. The 6'2" volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) had always worked out and stayed in good physical condition. He and his wife, Nicolette, have two sons, two daughters, and three grandchildren. They enjoy motorcycle road trips, camping, and going to NASCAR races. [...]

  2. Benny Andújar

    Early Detection Key for Treatment of Barrett's Esophagus

    Benny Andújar has traveled a long way from his native Utuado, Puerto Rico, to tell an important story. “Cancer doesn’t always send a warning,” Andújar says about his experience with a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus.  A routine endoscopy gave him the information he needed to unmask esophageal cancer before it developed.  “When they did [...]

  3. Male Breast Cancer: A Patient’s Story

    When Craig McMillan found a lump in his left breast while showering in September 2004, he didn’t think much of it. The 59-year-old insurance agent from Quincy, Fla., assumed it was a harmless, fatty cyst like others he had had. But the decision to mention it to his family physician during his annual physical may [...]

  4. Kongphaly Aphayasane

    Transplant patient awarded United States citizenship at Mayo Clinic in Florida

    A momentous occasion occurred recently at Mayo Clinic in Florida when a bone marrow transplant patient, Kongphaly Aphayasane, was awarded United States citizenship in her hospital room. Aphayasane, a native from Laos, has been working diligently to achieve this significant milestone. “I studied a lot for the citizenship and I am so happy,” said Aphayasane. [...]

  5. Patricia Wagner

    Living With Myelofibrosis (Part 1 of a 4 part-series)

    I’m Patricia Wagner. I’m 58 years old and live in a retirement community with my husband and two cats. I’m now followed by Dr. Ruben Mesa, a hematologist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. I’m writing this blog series to help others by giving you a glimpse into how I have been impacted by myelofibrosis [...]

  6. Mary Rohrer

    Breast Cancer? Me? My Story

    Having never been touched by any kind of cancer in any generation of my family, it came as a shock to learn of my breast cancer diagnosis confirmed at Mayo Clinic January 2012. I felt I was going through seven stages of grief in trying to reconcile this new phenomenon happening within my body. Emotionally [...]

  7. David

    My Stem Cells

    During the summer of 2011, my husband, David, underwent a series of tests which revealed extremely high levels of a certain protein in his blood.  As a result, we were referred to the Hematology Department at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, for further evaluation and diagnosis.  We were seen in September, 2011, and a bone marrow [...]

  8. "Mayo is where I go to get well"

    Editor's note: This story was submitted by Sheila Robb, a Mayo Clinic patient from Minneapolis. I was at Mayo a couple of months ago to start planning for a new treatment. The breast cancer that had metastasized 2 ½ years ago in my lymph system responded well to the Xeloda I had been on but [...]

  9. Thanks to Mayo, My Survival and Passion for Softball Will Continue

    I will never forget the afternoon of January 31, 2011, when I was at my local health provider and received the devastating news that I had stage 4 throat cancer at the base of my tongue that had spread to my lymph nodes. My local health care provider gave me all the bad news, with [...]

  10. Four Words

    This story was submitted by David Kelly from Saint Joseph, Mich. We’ve been a part of the Mayo Experience since 1998. Originally we began our treatment in a Chicago hospital. It was there that our two-year-old daughter, Hannah, had her first biopsy to determine what was causing a lump just below her right wrist. I’ll [...]

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