New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, May 18, 1997, Page 9

Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung May 18, 1997

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 18, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas Herald-Zeitung □ Sunday, May 18, 1997 Q9A arris is pleased to announce the opening SmkMmini Breast Surgery: Enlargement, Reduction    jBfijfl Post-Cancer Reconstruction flWB Laser Removal of Wrinkles    I    >HKIHB Body Contour Surgery: Tummy Tick,    WA c    ^    Liposuction Information key to fighting cancer effectively By TERRI BROTZE Special to the Herald-Zeitung It is 56-year-old Denny Somoskey’s perserverance and willingness to dig for the truth that saved her life and her sanity in her four year battle with rectal cancer. “My cancer was a fast growing cancer. It multiplied. They considered I had it six months. If I didn’t do something right away, I could „    .    ,    die,” recalls Dormy Somootey somoskey. Found in a routine exam one October morning in 1993, the small lump or quamous cell carcinoma sat at the very bottom of her bowel just inside the rectum with very little evidence of being there. “It felt like cauliflower. It was lumpy,” Somoskey remembered. “But the funny thing was, I didn’t have any symptoms. I had been sweating, sweeping up sawdust, and running around tending to the business of building a house all summer long. My bowel just seemed a little irritated.” Two days later, a colonoscopy followed by surgery to remove her rectum, part of the colon and the back part of the vagina sent her into a tailspin, “You get the news, the doctors tell you what you have to do and your gut tells you, boom, this is it” She said she believed it was important to have someone there with you to help sort things out from the very moment the cancer is revealed. “My husband was out of town the day my doctor found the lump. My son was in San Antonio. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I finally ended up at a nurse friend’s house. I remember the look on her face when I said, ’I have cancer,’” Somoskey said with tears in her eyes. “She and her husband took me home. I broke the news to my husband and son, and crawled into bed. That was the last time I felt sorry for myself.” Instead of self pity, Somoskey became determined to find out everything there was to know about the disease. She spoke to friends and support groups and read everything she could find about the disease. “The doctors had a hard time coming down to my level. They spent so much time talking with me. But I never could understand what ACS Starligh Gala The Comal County American Cancer Society provides extensive information for cancer victims and their families. Contact Bob Peterson for complete information at 625-3252. The only fund raiser for the local ACS unit ‘‘Starlight in Red, White and Blue” opens at the Civic Center at 7:00 p.m. Friday June 20th with a military flair this year. The black tie affair offers elegant fun, and entertainment by "The Fairmonts", catering by Clear Springs starting at $100 per couple. For reservations contact Gala Chairman Kathy McLeod. You could save a life. was going on, so I learned on my own.” Two months after the surgery, Somoskey was required to take triple doses of chemotherapy before and after radiation five days a week for two months. “They said I had to take it for maintenance, just in case some of the cancer was left behind,” said Somoskey. She said she believed it was the radiation and chemo treatments that changed her life. “They shot my hips one day and front and back the other day. They mark you and have black out spots. The doctor said I may have just a little scar tissue on the bladder and that was it” But instead, Somoskey was left with second and third degree bums, damaging her bladder, liver and vagina. “Nobody ever considered the vaginal area. They could have blacked it out, It became shoe leather ... brown and purple.” Three gynecologists later and four long years of digging and questioning finally brought Somoskey the answer she’d been looking for. “A friend suggested reconstructive surgery. So I searched for the best plastic anti reconstructive surgeon. He told me my problem was correctable." But, the doctor also told her the procedure used was in fact invented by one of the gynecologists she had previously seen. “Now why wouldn’t that doctor, if he invented the procedure, give me that option? The information was there, yet it wasn’t given to me.” Looking back, Somoskey said she y. Mfflsel Harris, is pleased to announce the opening of his practice in Adult and Pediatric Urology. Dr. Harris is leaving his current position as WL L Ii Assistant Professor of .Urology at the University of Texas Health Science Center San    Bi Antonio and Chief of Urology at the Audie L. HKom-I Murphy Veterans Hospital to join Cary Leverett, M.D. Together Dr. Harris and Dr. Leverett will form Comal Urology Associates New patients will be welcome July 1, 1997. Dr. Harris is certified by the American Board of Urology. 876 Loop 337    (210)625-8088 Building C. Suite 302 New Braunfels, Texas 78130    _ wmmmmmmmammammmammmmmmmmmmmmmmMmmmmmammam GERMANIA FARMER VE REIN 122nd ANNUAL MAY FEST SlBDAY MjHnpi AT THE i^raBBHBlHALL IN anmiWtxas (IMM* tflHU braws Nm ti miM, I IMM m MM Vim rf ILL MI m AMM U.) 12:00 Noon Beef Pot Rom!, Sauerkraut and all the trimmings IM IMM OM TM* S SO. IM AMIlQUfcfAfiM EQUIPMENT SHOW RaftciMMUMt Sagy Ss—daw MHM, CfcndlMudtor SIS 2117    S0M246    9042192 believed the greatest travesty of her battle with cancer was not receiving all of her options, not receiving full information so she could make informed decisions. She’s not alone. Dr. Richard Evans, an oncology surgeon in Houston, said surgeries of today are as radical as they were 20 years ago with many cancers, even though statistics show heavily that conservative treatments are as effective and much less painful for the patient. “We used to believe a cancerous tissue had to be removed along with everything around it. Then zapped with 5,000 to 6,000 rads and high doses of chemotherapy no matter where the cancer was found or how big it was. That’s just not so. Studies in Canada, Europe and the United States show a conservative treatment provides the same life expectancy as a radical and offers a better life for the patient,” Evans said. “The recurrence rate is exactly the same as a radical procedure.” Yet he said a radical procedure is recommended by the medical community most of the time. “It’s simply of stubbiness on the part of some doctors. It’s an ego thing for others. They are used to calling the shots. Now the patient wants all the information and should have it to make their own decisions about how they, the patient, wants to manage their disease.” The author of “Making the Right Choice, Treatment Options in Cancer Surgery,” Evans recommends anyone diagnosed with cancer to seek a second opinion from a conservative doctor. “They can be hard to locate. Talk to support groups and friends in the medical field. Anyone who has been through a bout with cancer will have a lot of information to share.” He said the Internet is one of the best resources for cancer victims. “The Internet has cancer support groups nationwide. Dialogue with ra.m>w them. Send them an EMail. You can learn as much about the cancer in your body as your doctor knows.” But, Evans encourages cancer victims to get rid of the cancer as quickly as possible. “Get a second opinion, then get the disease out of your body right away. Early detection is still the most effective way. But find out about the radiation and chemo before you do it.” He suggests: 1. Ask your doctor what the advantage of radiation or chemo would be for your particular cancer in your age bracket. 2. What are the possible complications or side effects 3. Determine the attitude of your surgeon or doctor (i.e. are they sympathetic or hostile toward conservative treatment) 4. When did your doctor or surgeon begin treating cancer patients (many conservative surgeries began in the mid-1980s) 5. Check out or purchase books relating to your particular cancer. 6. Dialogue with other patients right away. 7. Check into other options such as hormonal therapy or cryosurgery (the freezing of cancer cells). 8. Find out what your body will be like after the surgery and treatment is complete (i.e. will all your parts be working as they were before). Evans said the bottom line is for patients to expect and require complete information from their physicians at every stage and every level. “You have to take a stand,” he said. (Editor’s note: This is the second in a five-part series about the American Cancer Society and the Starlight Gala fund-raiser.) Centex Office* four hest value LUS PIUS    everyday! Rubber Stamps and Name Badges. 154 S. Business IH35 (next to Adobe Cafe) 629-3979 Ceramic (210) 899-4692 Canyon Lake 800-531-3153 FREE EYEGLASSES anuov. FREE Single Vision, Scratch Resistant, CR-39* LENSES A $55 to $75 Value PLUS A CDCC EYE EXAM When You Buy A Pair Of Ey A Comdt wgm mr Visit The Optometrist Next To EyeMasters ''-'-metrist, Eye Exam. 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Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Issue Date: May 18, 1997

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