<SAVI Sister - Peggy A.>

Peggy A.

Document Control Assistant Quality Department
Tipton, IN
Treated with SAVI – January 2015


In July 2014, I began testing to determine if I have MS. During this testing, swollen lymph nodes around my trachea were found. While preparing to talk to the doctor about the nodes, I just happened to do a self-exam and noticed a lump in my right breast—that was in October. From there, I had a mammogram, a CT scan and a biopsy. Finally, in November the dreaded phone call came that I had breast cancer. Before the breast cancer could be dealt with, we had to know if the lymph nodes around my trachea were cancerous so a tracheotomy was performed on December 1st. During this time, all of the testing for MS or whatever autoimmune disease is interrupting my life was put on hold—the breast cancer took precedence. The biopsy on the trachea came back clear —no cancer! I held off on my lumpectomy surgery until the beginning of the year, to be followed by SAVI radiation.

Dr. Longmire-Cook was my surgeon and my radiation oncologist was Dr. Frank W. Peyton. They were terrific and supportive. The insertion of the SAVI device was a bit painful but it wasn’t a long-lasting pain. Having it hanging out the side of my breast was a little uncomfortable, but I think it was well worth it. To have the radiation directed right where it needed to be was just such a plus to me—SAVI was the best option in my eyes. In dealing with an autoimmune disease, I knew it would be very difficult to complete radiation treatments that would last six to seven weeks, whereas with SAVI, it was only five days.

During my treatments, I was extremely exhausted, but I’m also dealing with an autoimmune disease, so that probably explains my fatigue. I drove myself each day, an hour each way, but then I just hung around or napped in the hospital until I was done instead of driving back and forth in between the two daily treatments. With just 6 hours in between, it was perfect for grabbing a bite to eat and a nap.

I would hope no friend ever has breast cancer, but if she did, I would definitely recommend SAVI. My advice to anyone going through SAVI treatments is to make sure to have some healthy snacks on hand to keep your energy level up and just make sure to rest. I am a single mother of a daughter who has been by my side through this entire ordeal. She has been my caretaker, my confidant and just my all around awesome person—everyone needs one of those. 🙂