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"Survivor Story: Michael"


Michael B. was diagnosed with Lyposarcoma, a rare form of cancer, at Mercy St. Anne Hospital on May 9. Recovery from surgery to remove the tumor from his abdomen was slow and painful due to an abscess that developed. Radiation therapy was exhausting. And yet he is able to find positive things to say about his battle with cancer and the professionals who have helped him along the way.

“I was in the hospital at St. Anne for two weeks after my surgery,” he said. “If I was going to be sick and have to go into the hospital again, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. I can’t say enough. Even the Housekeeping staff never failed to walk in the door and ask, ‘Mr. Mike, how are you doing? Can I get you anything?’

I can’t say enough about the quality of care and the caring that was shown to me. I think it’s what brought me through.”

Mike made 26 visits to the Mercy Cancer Center at St. Anne* for radiation therapy, going Monday through Friday for five weeks.

“One day a week I would also see Dr. Kucway or the oncologist on duty that day, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I’d have a CAT scan before my treatment,” he said. “The radiation treatment itself lasted less than a minute, but it was amazing how it would impact me. It was painless itself, but it really sapped my energy. I’ve worked construction for 40 years and am used to being very active, so that was probably the hardest thing to accept about my illness and treatment.

“Massage therapy with Tina on Wednesdays helped. Wow, that was the highlight of my week. She’ll talk with you if you want to talk ; if not, she’ll let you go to sleep. She’s very good at what she does. It was very relaxing.”

Mike said he was amazed by everyone he encountered while undergoing treatment.

“There were three or four people who worked with me on my radiation treatments, and they were outstanding,” he said. “I don’t know how they pick their people, but everybody just had that attitude that ‘We’re here to help.’ If any of them ever had a bad day, it was concealed. From the people who welcome you in the door to the oncologists and everyone in between – the cafeteria workers and the people who sweep the floors – they were all just amazing. Everyone I interacted with made my experience as pleasant as possible. The folks in charge of hiring are obviously doing something right.”

*The Mercy Cancer Center at St. Anne is a Department of Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.

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