SAVI Sister - Olean D.

Olean D.

Indianapolis, IN
Treated with SAVI – June 2014


I had been laid off in September 2013, so I decided to take time to care for my husband during treatment for lung cancer.

Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My surgeon, Dr. Linda Han, offered me surgery, radiation therapy, oral anti-hormone therapy or chemotherapy or both, depending on all my test results. She recommended SAVI as an opportunity to complete radiation therapy quickly so I could focus on the care of my husband. Initially, my interest in the SAVI was so I would be able to look after my husband. The more I learned about it, the more positive I was about this being the right thing for me!

I lost my husband the day before I had the SAVI catheter implanted. He had been worried I was neglecting myself so I could take care of him. We thought he had a few more months together. My brother came from Florida to be with us during my treatment, arriving the same day I received the implant. I started treatment the next day. The second day of treatment, my brother had a heart attack. Thank goodness he has recovered and is doing very well. No more, I said!

During treatment with SAVI, my energy level was good. The only real discomfort was adjusting to sleeping while using a pillow to support my breast. It was not painful at all, but the first two days it felt weird because it was there, however, no pain at all. I had a great experience with my physicians. My radiation oncologist’s name was Dr. Gladys (Irene) Minor and my Medical Oncologist was Dr. Jennifer Morgan. All were wonderful.

I don’t know if it was intentional, but I didn’t really see what the SAVI looked like until it was already implanted. My brother was with me when it was shown to us and he said, looks like a whisk! So he found a small whisk in my cooking utensil drawer and hooked it up to his backpack. The “Whisk” became our lucky charm!

Now that my SAVI treatment is behind me, I am willing to do whatever I can to help potential SAVI patients understand how fortunate we are to have this option. I would also be glad to be a contact if you have patients or their families who would like to talk with someone.