Cancer patient stories

  1. After Loss, Cancer Survivor Finds Strength in Community and Giving Back

    Editor?s Note: Carol Phillips is an IT analyst/programmer at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. . She shares her experience and why she travels to Florida to support the annual 26.2 with DONNA Marathon . My breast cancer journey started on April Fool?s Day?? April ?1, 2011. Only it wasn?t a joke. My routine yearly mammogram came [...]

  2. Successful Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer Inspires Richard Carvajal to Reach Out

    In August 2014, Richard Carvajal, then 43, was in the best shape of his life. He was excited as he left his home in Bainbridge, Georgia, to compete in his first Olympic-distance triathlon. But as he drove across Alabama on his way to the race site, he started feeling sharp abdominal pain. ?It kept getting [...]

  3. Sharing Part of His Liver, Brother-in-Law Offers Something Greater: A Future

    Isaac Jackson was living a peaceful life, with?a large, loving family, a successful law practice, and lifelong friends, when in early 2014, his life changed dramatically. In January, Isaac began feeling sick whenever he ate. A visit to his primary care doctor in his hometown of Eugene, Oregon, led to an initial diagnosis of gallstones. [...]

  4. Relieving Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment With Microsurgery

    In May 2013, at age 47, Angenette Monroe was diagnosed with invasive cancer in her left breast. After six months of chemotherapy, she had a mastectomy as part of her treatment plan. The former gastroenterology technologist had participated in many medical procedures and was well aware of the challenges people can face after surgery. But [...]

  5. Routine Exam Leads to Successful Tonsil Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

    When Gary Pearson went in for a routine physical required by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to maintain his commercial driving privileges, he left with much more than a renewed driver?s license. The 58-year-old departed his appointment with an urgent directive from the nurse practitioner that examined him to see his primary care doctor. The [...]

  6. A Male Mammogram Brings Relief, Life and Marketing Lessons

    By?Marty Weintraub Editor?s Note: Marty Weintraub, an entrepreneur, author, speaker and musician, came to Mayo Clinic in 2015 for a mammogram after noticing a lump on his chest. He wrote a compelling account of the experience on his blog, and gave us permission to repost his story.? From a San Francisco?truffle shop?to an upscale?St. Paul [...]

  7. Persevering Through Brain Cancer, Travis McGinnis Remains Upbeat and Optimistic

    Travis McGinnis was just 30 years old when an insidious cancer was discovered in his brain. It had been growing there for some time, he says ? his physicians estimated between five and 10 years. Had the stage-three oligoastrocytoma not been detected when it was, Travis would have likely lost his life. As it happened, [...]

  8. Tree Farmer’s Passion for the Outdoors Thrives Thanks to Palliative Care Team

    Roger Conklin has a passion for being outdoors. A tree farmer for more than 50 years, Roger looks forward to the changing seasons and experiencing the cycle of planting, growing and harvesting. Over the last two decades, however, health concerns have made his outdoor activities more challenging. During that time, Roger has undergone hip and [...]

  9. After Learning Flu-Like Symptoms Were Actually Thyroid Cancer, Mother Shares Advice to Help Save Others

    It was 2012, and Beth Spreitzer was busy with life. Mothering her fourth-grade daughter and taking care of a household left no time to get sick. However, after experiencing what she thought were too many common symptoms – fatigue, chills, fever – and not improving, Beth thought something else must be wrong. "In the past, [...]

  10. Remembrance Events at Mayo Clinic Give Family Time to Reflect and Share

    Carol Mannell remembers her younger sister, Kathy VanHulle, as a woman who loved meeting new people and having fun. Carol recalls how, despite being in the midst of receiving care for a serious illness when she was at Mayo Clinic, Kathy would take time to strike up conversations with people sitting next to her in [...]

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