SAVI Sister - Marjorie Freedman

Marjorie F.

Nutrition Professor
San Jose, CA
Treated with SAVI – May 2015

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Having a family history of breast cancer, I diligently have a yearly mammogram. In this particular year, a few days after my routine mammogram, I was called back for another “view” which was then followed by a needle biopsy. A couple of days later (Friday the 13th), I was diagnosed with stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma. Having been a cancer buddy, I wasn’t particularly worried—as my cancer was only 2mm in size and found at a very early stage. My surgeon, Dr. Mardi Karin, required a chest x-ray and MRI prior to surgery. These tests likely saved my life—they revealed a spot on my lung, which was determined to be a second primary cancer—a slow growing carcinoid.

On April 30, I had breast-conserving surgery, and was relieved to learn that there was no lymph node involvement. I was thrilled that I was eligible for the 7-day SAVI brachytherapy treatment, which was carefully explained to me by Dr. Gordon Wong, my radiation oncologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Gatos. Two weeks after my initial surgery, I had the SAVI catheter inserted, and started my therapy.

Having the device in my breast meant no showering for a week, and no exercise. Not showering wasn’t a big deal, but I had not missed more than 1 or 2 days (in a row) of aerobic exercise since September and I was not happy that I could not do strenuous exercise for a week. But that was a small price to pay to have one week of treatment WITH NO SIDE EFFECTS as compared to weeks of radiation.

I had some minor discomfort from the insertion, but I carried out my daily activities with no interruption, and had absolutely no pain associated with the radiation treatment (during or after). In short, I felt great. Drs. Patel and Wong and the Radiation Oncology team at Good Sam were fabulous—I could not have asked for a better experience.

The day after my SAVI catheter was removed, I was back to exercising, and 1 month later, I climbed to the top of “Cloud’s Rest” (almost 10,000 feet) in Yosemite National Park.

With my treatment for breast cancer behind me, I’m ready to face lung surgery and look forward to being cancer free.