Ms. Patricia Benjamin talks about her experience with pancreatitis and the care she received at Mayo Clinic.
See also a video with Dr. Santhi Vege, Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic's nationally recognized Pancreas Clinic treats patients with diseases of the pancreas. The Pancreas Clinic is staffed by doctors from multiple specialties.
Look at Carl White today and you see a busy, content family man. A husband and father of two, Carl recently completed his bachelor's degree and now is pursuing a master's in social work. When he's not in school or studying, you'll likely find him either at his job as a health unit coordinator at Mayo Clinic Hopsital, Saint Marys Campus, in Rochester, Minnesota, or spending time with his family.
At first glance, Carl may seem like any typical, hardworking dad. Rewind a few years, though, and you'll understand just how far Carl has come and the enormous struggles he has had to overcome.
Back in 2009, Carl was consumed with chronic pain — the result of two serious accidents. He attempted to cope by taking steady doses of strong pain medication, along with a significant amount of alcohol. But it provided little relief.
"I was in constant pain. I couldn't think. I couldn't function. My family was falling apart. I didn't know what to do," Carl says. "Time seemed to go so slowly while waiting for a magic bullet, a new medical breakthrough that would take all the pain away. I believed that all I needed was to have the right surgery or find the right pill, and I would be cured."
"I was in constant pain. I couldn't think. I couldn't function. My family was falling apart. I didn't know what to do."
Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Angry and discouraged after several years of dealing with the pain, he was not receptive when a doctor at Mayo Clinic referred him to Mayo's Pain Rehabilitation Center. [...]
In early 2011, Josh noticed a bump in his stomach around his navel. He thought the bump was a hernia, and his doctor initially agreed. Josh was scheduled for surgery, but pre-op blood work revealed surprising news. Russell’s “hernia” was actually a tumor. He had testicular cancer.
“I was in shock,” says the Benton, Wisconsin, resident. But he didn’t have time to dwell on that. “I got the news on a Friday and started chemotherapy on Monday.”
Four months of treatment did little to slow the cancer. In fact, it was spreading.
“I had tumors from my groin to the lower part of my throat,” says Josh, whose prognosis looked grim. “After I finished chemo, they gave me six months to live. They wanted me to go home and start hospice.”
But that wasn’t a prognosis that Josh, then just 30 years old, or his family were willing to accept. [...]
When Monica Hansen of Minneapolis came to Mayo Clinic in March 2008, she needed answers, and she needed them quickly.
A 30-year-old first-time parent, Monica gave birth to a son in September 2007. As many women do, Monica suffered from hemorrhoids throughout her pregnancy. Except in Monica's situation, they didn't go away once her son was born. Following tests, consultations and one surgery with local physicians, Monica was stunned to find out she didn't have hemorrhoids at all. She had rectal cancer. The treatment options suggested to her seemed bleak, so Monica turned to Mayo Clinic for another opinion.
"When you have cancer, you want to know as soon as possible what's happening," Monica says. "Mayo was great. I was there for a few days and got all the tests I needed. I didn't have to wait weeks to get test results or schedule more exams. Then they told me what was going on and helped me make an informed decision." [...]