Patient stories

  1. Critical Care Team Gives Young Mom Second Chance in Fight Against Cancer

    Three years had passed since Hollis Youngner, 34, had been diagnosed and treated for HER2+ breast cancer. So in late 2014, when the mother of one was "just feeling yucky, tired, nauseous," she says cancer wasn't even on her mind. "I was secretly excited, thinking of ways to tell everyone I was pregnant," she says. [...]

  2. A happy ending that keeps on giving

    The below article comes from our Sharing Mayo Clinic print publication: “It isn’t a big article,” Kristie Naines says when asked about her appearance in the October issue of Good Housekeeping. “It’s just a few paragraphs.” She’s being modest. It’s kind of a big deal. Those “few” paragraphs describe how, at age 32, Naines was [...]

  3. MaryEllen at chemotherapy

    MaryEllen’s Journey: Coping with a New Reality (Episode 3)

    When you last saw MaryEllen Sheppard in Episode 2, she spoke about how she was beginning to lose her hair. After two rounds of chemotherapy, MaryEllen said  she was beginning to lose clumps at a time. She knew the day was coming.  But the awkwardness of going bald wasn’t what was engulfing her. As her husband Chuck [...]

  4. Gut Feeling, Being in Right Place May Have Saved Lynn Witherspoon

    When Lynn Witherspoon was diagnosed with breast cancer, she wanted to move quickly. And she wanted to move to a place she felt would give her the care she needed. So she and her husband moved from their home in North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida, to be near Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. "We live in [...]

  5. MaryEllen’s Journey: Searching For Genetic Clues (Episode 4)

    From the moment MaryEllen Sheppard was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, she wondered how she developed cancer. Her ancestors, she said, tended to live long, healthy lives. And other than a cousin, she wasn’t aware of anyone else in her family who had breast cancer. As her battle against the disease began, MaryEllen’s thoughts [...]

  6. MaryEllen’s Journey: Hope Returns (Final Episode)

    The moment finally came. But it was an uneasy one at first. MaryEllen Sheppard was about to receive her last round of chemotherapy at Mayo Clinic, with friends and family by her side. But as her loved ones and her nurses cheered her on, a wave of emotion hit this mom with nerves of steel. [...]

  7. From 'Shock' to Hope – Young Woman Shares Her Breast Cancer Journey

    In her early 30s and with “a wonderful child, wonderful husband and a great career,” Dawn DeCook-Gibson says the last thing she expected was a breast cancer diagnosis. Following the initial shock of the news, Dawn, from Chandler, Arizona, sought out doctors at Mayo Clinic and was guided through her treatment and recovery by Donald [...]

  8. MaryEllen’s Journey: Chemotherapy Begins (Episode 2)

    Like many women facing breast cancer, MaryEllen Sheppard had concerns over how she would feel after her chemotherapy treatments. Would she be able to go to work? Would the chemotherapy leave her feeling ill and exhausted? How long would it be until she inevitably lost her hair? When you last saw MaryEllen in Episode 1,  [...]

  9. Celebrating a 5-year milestone after breast cancer diagnosis

    Pansy Parker of Goodyear, Ariz., has been celebrating her cancer-free “five-year-mark” with a little partying and a lot of faith. “I just thank God so much for the five-year benchmark,” said the ebullient 73-year-old, who threw a party and invited her Mayo treatment team to celebrate her five-year survivorship. “For patients, the five-year mark is [...]

  10. MaryEllen Sheppard

    MaryEllen’s Journey - A 5-part breast cancer video series (Episode 1)

    MaryEllen Sheppard knew something was wrong as soon as she felt a thickened patch of skin on her right breast.  She didn’t feel a lump, but knew the change was different enough to get it checked out.  A mammogram and subsequent biopsy caught her by surprise. She had breast cancer. Looking  to share her experience [...]

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Sept. 18, 2015