November 18th, 2016
In May 2013, at age 47, Angenette Monroe was diagnosed with invasive cancer in her left breast. After six months of chemotherapy, she had a mastectomy as part of her treatment plan.
The former gastroenterology technologist had participated in many medical procedures and was well aware of the challenges people can face after surgery. But as an active woman who exercised and was always on the go, Angenette never expected her treatment would prevent her from enjoying life.
But it did. Side effects after surgery kept Angenette from activities with her husband, including running and traveling, as well as visits with her three children and her grandchild.
She also dealt with lymphedema for more than a year. Then Angenette turned to physicians at Mayo Clinicâs Florida campus for help. They were able to offer her a unique surgical approach, called lymphovenous bypass, that eased her symptoms.
She had picked the right place to seek help.Â Read the rest of this entry »
November 3rd, 2016
When Gary Pearson went in for a routine physical required by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to maintain his commercial driving privileges, he left with much more than a renewed driverâs license. The 58-year-old departed his appointment with an urgent directive from the nurse practitioner that examined him to see his primary care doctor. The reason: Gary had a bulbous lump on his neck.
âIf she hadnât found it, who knows how long it wouldâve taken to detect it,â says Gary of Claudia Swanton, the advanced practice nurse in Mayo Clinicâs Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine who performed the exam.
October 11th, 2016
When he was born 13 years ago, Connor Johnson was a "miracle baby,â according to his parents. Kathleen and Curtiss Johnson had struggled for years to become and stay pregnant. They had given up hope, when they discovered they were nearly four months along.
The miracle of Connorâs life took on new poignancy in the fall of 2015, when the young teen was diagnosed with an aggressive form of childhood brain cancer. Despite the seriousness of the tumor, an intensive treatment regimen at Mayo Clinicâs Rochester campusÂ involving brain surgery and proton beam therapy, provided Connor and his family the promise of a brighter future.Â Read the rest of this entry »
September 29th, 2016
Editorâs Note: Marty Weintraub, an entrepreneur, author, speaker and musician, came to Mayo Clinic in 2015 for a mammogram after noticing a lump on his chest. He wrote a compelling account of the experience on his blog, and gave us permission to repost his story.Â
From a San FranciscoÂ truffle shopÂ to an upscaleÂ St. Paul grocery store, Iâve been writing to share inspiration at the intersection of life experiences and my chosen profession, marketing. So it is with a keen eye, open heart and tuned ear I travel the world day-by-day, camera in hand.
Who would have thought we would unearthÂ profoundÂ lessons of empathy, immediately transferable to life and career, following an unexpected health issue and resulting treks to the Mayo Clinic. The experience I am about to share will have an indelible impact on me as a man and a marketer.
Mayo Clinic is aÂ shining city of healing and light. Each year more than a million precious human spirits find their way to Mayo for care. Patients flock from all 50 American states and 140+ countries, driven on a highly personal mission of body, soul and heart. The 6,600 staff physicians, scientists, residents and fellows across multiple campuses see most diagnoses over time.
Mayo helps toÂ soothe nervous visitors with its international-class artistic aesthetic.Â Patients and care givers experience everything from Warhols to the carved mother-of-pearl box and book donated by King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan. Suspended from the Gonda Building great room ceiling looms a staggeringly beautiful,Â ChihulyÂ glass installation. Beauty engulfs the visitor, easing fears and concerns â if even for a few minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
July 27th, 2016
It was 2012, and Beth Spreitzer was busy with life. Mothering her fourth-grade daughter and taking care of a household left no time to get sick. However, after experiencing what she thought were too many common symptoms â fatigue, chills, fever â and not improving, Beth thought something else must be wrong.
"In the past, the most I'd ever have to fight off was a cold. I attributed my recent symptoms to being busy and getting older," Beth says.
During a routine visit, her gynecologist noticed her thyroid was inflamed and tender to the touch. This butterfly-shaped gland rests in the bottom of the neck, around the windpipe. It has two side lobes that you can't feel when the thyroid is its normal size. The gland secretes hormones that regulate heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight.
Her doctor asked if she'd been sick. Beth confirmed that yes, she suffered from a fever and chills a couple of weeks earlier and even had a cold sore, which for her was uncommon. But she admits she didn't think much about the conversation afterward.Â Read the rest of this entry »
July 23rd, 2016
The night before 8-year-old Evie McLeishâs brain surgery, her Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon David Daniels, M.D., Ph.D., told her parents, "I donât want you to think of this as the end. This is just the beginning of a marathon."
The procedure was the start of Evieâs long-term care plan for treatment of a brain tumor. Along with the brain surgery, that plan included chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Due to her age and the location of her tumor, though, her doctors recommended Evie receive proton beam therapy instead of conventional radiation therapy.
The timing was right. Mayo Clinic had just begun a new Proton Beam Therapy Program at its Rochester, Minnesota, campus. And not only was this unique treatment readily available to Evie, it was relatively close to her familyâs home in Ankeny, Iowa, just a three-hour drive away.
"We were dealt a big blow with Evieâs tumor," says her mother, Ali McLeish. "But there have been silver linings in this whole thing, including that we could get proton beam therapy without having to travel across the country."Â Read the rest of this entry »
June 25th, 2016
For two weeks, 14-year-old Jackson Fisher was plagued by headaches, double-vision, nausea and weight loss. His parents, Michelle and Patrick Fisher, werenât sure what was wrong. But when Jackson came home one evening completely exhausted after lacrosse practice, they decided it was time to find out what was going on. The next day, they took Jackson to the emergency room.
What doctors found during that ER visit triggered a series of events the Fishers never could have anticipated and that eventually led the family to Mayo Clinicâs Proton Beam Therapy Program, where Jackson received treatment for a brain tumor.
âEvery single person weâve met at Mayo Clinic has been amazing, and we feel like we were meant to meet them,â says Michelle. âHis doctors told us they were going to fight for Jackson. Theyâve been forthcoming and explained things simply and honestly. I never second guessed his care. Being at Mayo Clinic has been the most positive experience of our lives.âÂ Read the rest of this entry »
June 9th, 2016
Deciding to undergo a surgery to remove your colon is not a decision to be taken lightly, but it was one that Luis Coriano faced earlier this year. And he and his family wanted to make sure they made the right call.
Luis is affected by a rare genetic disorder called familial adenomatous polyposis that causes thousands of polyps to grow in the colon and ultimately leads to cancer. He knew that a prophylactic surgery to remove the diseased organ was the only way to prevent cancer from ravaging his body.
As daunting as the surgery was, however, more worrisome to Luis, was what came after the surgery. Namely, living with a stoma and an ostomy bag.Â Read the rest of this entry »
June 4th, 2016
"I told my doctor that if he had to cut my spinal cord and put me in a wheelchair to get rid of the pain, that's what I would do," Gary says.
Fortunately, that was not necessary. Instead, Gary found and enrolled in a clinical research trial at Mayo Clinic studying the effectiveness of a new technology to relieve nerve pain such as his. It made a tremendous difference. "I never imagined my legs feeling this good again," he says. "The study was a godsend for me." Read the rest of this entry »
May 31st, 2016
People often don't hear the phrase, "You are the most important person in my life today," especially from those other than family. However, Leslie Milde, M.D., has heard it often â from her patients. She is well aware of the significance of her role in the operating room, and the apprehension felt by patients about to undergo surgery.
Now the tables are turned, and as one of the first five patients undergoing proton beam therapy at the newly opened Mayo Clinic Building inÂ Phoenix, Dr. Milde, former chair of Mayo's Department of Anesthesiology in Arizona, is relying on key people in her own life â the team of specialists treating her spinal meningioma, a condition where tumors arise from the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Read the rest of this entry »