SAVI Sister - Mary Ann A.

Mary Ann A.

Retired from Mortgage Industry
Glen Ellyn, IL
Treated with SAVI – February 2014

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I was so proud of the fact that at almost 60 years old, I wasn’t on heart, cholesterol or diabetes medicine and that I was a somewhat active person, feeling generally healthy.

I had just landed a job in the mortgage industry with the same boss I’d had 25 years prior and I was feeling confident that this was the place I could be until retirement. Because of job changes and insurance wait periods, I had not had a mammogram for 20 months and knew that I had to go before the end of 2013.

Since I was feeling well, had made positive changes to my diet and had gone back to a long-missed health club, I was shocked to hear, “Unfortunately, Mrs. Asan, we do see cells that show a cancer.” It was invasive ductal carcinoma. On the bright side, the tumor was so small that if had I gone for my mammogram earlier in the year, it may not have been seen. Within 18 days of that call, I had my lumpectomy with Dr. Mary Ahn. From there, I saw my radiation oncologist Dr. Christy Kesslering, who confirmed that I would be a good candidate for the SAVI catheter.

I had done my research. Knowing that radiation can have effects on surrounding tissue, I was concerned about my heart and lungs since this was a left breast diagnosis. I was thrilled that there was an option to have partial breast radiation with SAVI and that I was a good candidate. My insertion was the day after I met with Dr. Kesslering and I began my treatment the following Monday.

All in all, the insertion went well, with localized numbing meds. When treatment ended I felt great. Honestly, there was very little discomfort, and with the ends of the catheter controlled by padding and a comfortable bra, I was able to go about my business with no hitch. The removal was basically the same with numbing meds to ease any discomfort.

I was happy to have only 5 days to be concerned about running back and forth to the hospital for appointments. I ended up getting laid off from my new job, but for those who would continue in the workforce, this option offers the ability to continue on with your daily activities, without much inconvenience or discomfort. I would have been able to continue to work had my layoff not occurred. Overall I am happy with my decision to utilize SAVI. I’m looking forward to the next 20 or more years.