In March of 2011 a mammogram revealed a suspicious spot in my right breast that a lumpectomy confirmed to be cancer. I was shocked because I have no family history of cancer and I’ve always tried to lead a healthy lifestyle. The follow-up to a lumpectomy is radiation treatment and that left me with an important decision: traditional external beam treatment or what was considered experimental at the time, a treatment only available in Phoenix called multiple catheter brachytherapy. My Albuquerque surgeon, Dr Linda Smith, said I was a good candidate for the brachytherapy so that’s what I chose. brachytherapy is a one week intensive treatment that required 25 catheters to be strategically inserted through my right breast. Twice daily for a week, each catheter was hooked up to a machine that delivered precise doses of radiation to the cancer site, using radioactive pellets that travelled through the catheters.
While in Phoenix, I had plenty of down time between the radiation sessions so my husband and I did some hiking and site seeing, all the while, with a mass of catheters dissecting my breast.
It was a difficult and scary time, but I thank Dr. Linda Smith and Dr. Robert Kuske of the Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists who always made me feel safe. I would also like to thank the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center for the wonderful and important work that they doing are every day of the year.
Cycling has always been a big part of my life and it helped me get through my recovery.
Please support the Lobo Cancer Challenge by donating through the RIO Cycling Club Team on which I’m participating!
I am fighting cancer by joining the Lobo Cancer Challenge. I’ve committed to raise funds to help New Mexicans facing cancer. Please consider giving what you can. All of the funds raised by riders, runners and walkers in the Challenge — 100 percent — support cancer patient care and research, education and training at The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center in Albuquerque.
Every amount helps, and it stays right here to help people in our state.
Did you know that the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center …
- Is the only cancer center in our state designated by the National Cancer Institute. It is one of only 49 NCI Comprehensive Cancer Centers, placing it in the top 3% of cancer centers in the United States.
- Has the state's largest, most comprehensive team of more than 125 board-certified oncologists in every cancer specialty.
- As a multidisciplinary team, oncological physicians and surgeons collaborate to develop the most effective plan for each patient, working with nurses, pharmacy and staff to coordinate the patient's care.
- Offers 175 clinical trials, making the latest and most advanced treatments available to all New Mexicans. The treatments include immunotherapies, cell-based therapies, cancer precision medicine, and targeted treatments derived from genomic sequencing.
- Conducts world class research to discover the causes and cures for those cancers that most frequently affect New Mexicans. Its physicians and scientists have translated their discoveries into new and more effective treatments for breast and ovarian cancer, leukemias and other blood cancers, melanomas, brain tumors, and many other types of cancer.