SAVI Sister - Cheryll K.

Cheryll K.

Customer Service
Salt Lake City, UT
Treated with SAVI – June 2014

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I had a routine mammogram and was called back for a biopsy 10 days later. Much to my surprise, they found a very tiny (6mm), but very aggressive malignant tumor. I had the lumpectomy surgery and then the SAVI catheter was inserted several weeks after that. I had quite an audience because at this point, brachytherapy with SAVI has not yet been done all that often here in Utah. The SAVI representative helped to guide my surgeon, Dr. Clark Rasmussen, and my radiation oncologist, Dr. George Cannon, and darn it they wouldn’t let me watch!

The decision to have brachytherapy with SAVI was mine after doing a lot of research online and learning that I was a good candidate. Both of my doctors were very excited when I said I was going to go with SAVI. The device was uncomfortable but the thought that it was for only five days made it easier to tolerate. During the actual radiation treatments, it was interesting to watch the machine deliver the radiation seed into each catheter.

I worked between treatments but had quite a ways to travel for each treatment. I had a neighbor take me to my final treatment when they removed the device. I was so nervous about it, I couldn’t eat! But the removal was so fast, I was almost embarrassed at being so fearful. The staff at LDS Hospital-Intermountain Healthcare Radiation Department are a great group of people. I was able to ring the bell indicating I was finished with my radiation therapy and they gave me a special certificate!

I just have to add that the day I had my surgery, I was waiting in a hallway for my pre-op when around the corner came an entourage of people with a woman in a wheelchair who was dressed just like me in hospital garb. She looked at me and I looked at her and at the same time she said, “Cheryll”? and I said, “Carole”? As we were about to pass each other, we grabbed hands and wouldn’t let the nurses separate us until we found out why each of us was there. It turns out we had the same surgeon and she was in the room next to me in recovery! Carole and I have been friends for about 25 years and had lost touch over the last three or four. Here we were, our friendship had come together at the most unexpected moment in time and under the most unusual circumstances. Carole was not a good candidate for SAVI but she has now finished with her whole breast radiation treatments. We have been supporting each other over our breast cancer ordeals and promised to never let more than a month go by without any contact.