Wednesday, September 29, 2010
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — 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 with other women coping with this disease, the 53-year-old mom (and new grandmother) from Tempe, Ariz., allowed a video crew from Mayo Clinic in Arizona to follow her on her journey.
MaryEllen let the cameras roll during her medical appointments at Mayo Clinic. Along the way she openly chronicles what it feels like to undergo chemotherapy and describes how the medical treatments and medications affected her daily life. She also lets viewers inside her genetic counseling session where she sought to find out if her triple negative breast cancer was inherited and the likelihood she could genetically pass the risk of cancer on to her daughter and new granddaughter.
Episode 1: Meet MaryEllen. MaryEllen shares her reaction to her diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer and the fears that came with it.
Episode 2: Chemotherapy Begins. MaryEllen's oncologist Dr. Donald Northfelt, Associate Medical Director of the Breast Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, discusses triple negative breast cancer and what MaryEllen is facing...Plus MaryEllen allows cameras in to witness her chemotherapy session and shares what it feels like to undergo the treatment.
Episode 3: Coping with a New Reality. MaryEllen speaks about losing her hair. She and her sister, Eileen, also share how the cancer diagnosis impacts a family.
Episode 4: Searching for Genetic Clues. Sit inside Mayo Clinic's genetic counselor Katherine Hunt's office with MaryEllen and her sister, Eileen as they seek a better understanding of whether genetics may have played a role in MaryEllen's cancer diagnosis. MaryEllen is especially anxious to know if her sisters, daughter and granddaughter are at risk for breast cancer.
Episode 5: Hope Returns. We capture MaryEllen's appointment with Dr Northfelt following the conclusion of her chemotherapy and radiation treatments where she learns about post-cancer fitness and nutrition and deals with the fear of a potential recurrence.
For an advance preview of each episode or to arrange an interview with MaryEllen Sheppard, please call Julie Janovsky-Mason at 480-301-6173.
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