Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Archive for December 7th, 2012

Giving back after a successful stem cell transplant

Posted on December 7th, 2012 by Margaret Shepard

Wendy Hamilton

When Wendy Hamilton's daughter graduated from college, the two celebrated by hiking in national parks throughout the West. Hamilton was surprised when she had to stop and rest on the trails.

When Wendy Hamilton's daughter graduated from college, the two celebrated by hiking in national parks throughout the West. Hamilton was surprised when she had to stop and rest on the trails.

"I felt so winded," says Hamilton, "but I attributed it to higher altitudes and middle age. I thought we tried to do too much."

When she returned home to Minnesota, however, her symptoms continued. "I just felt unwell," says Hamilton. "I'd feel close to normal during the day and then run a high fever at night."

Family doctors first thought she might have picked up an insect-borne illness while on vacation. But then she was diagnosed with an advanced and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hamilton went to Mayo Clinic for help. Read the rest of this entry »

Surgery takes care of cavernous malformation

Posted on December 7th, 2012 by Margaret Shepard

Dan Smith

Dan Smith is grateful that brain surgery didn't sideline his goal of becoming a computational physicist.

Dan Smith was a graduate student in physics when he noticed occasional numbness in his left hand. His physician thought it might be carpal tunnel syndrome. When the numbness affected Dan's entire arm and cheek, the physician referred him to a neurologist.

An MRI and a CT scan revealed a lesion the size of a goose egg in Dan's brain. The lesion — composed mostly of pooled blood — pressed on the part of the brain that controlled sensation. Dan's neurologist recommended he see a neurosurgeon. He chose to go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he met John Atkinson, M.D.

To determine the lesion's growth rate, Dan had MRIs at Mayo Clinic two weeks apart. The exams helped Dr. Atkinson determine that the lesion was slow-growing and was not a tumor. Still, it needed to be removed and the area repaired. Read the rest of this entry »