Getting a cancer diagnosis is like dealing with a blow to the head. Your world turns upside down so imagine getting a second diagnosis of another cancer two months later. We met a Sioux Falls woman who ended up fighting two unrelated cancers at the same time and came out two time survivor!
For those of you who know Maritta Husman then you know you can always count on two things; in the summer you will find her enjoying the fruits of her labor from her garden and you know she will be a stickler about routine checkups. Thank goodness she is. In February her mammogram showed a small lump in her left breast. A biopsy confirmed it was cancer.
Maritta says, "It's frightening. I thought it would never be me. I had a few sleepless nights worrying and waiting for surgery. In March I had a lumpectomy and then symptoms unrelated to the breast cancer lead to me to a hysterectomy in April."
Days following her lumpectomy, Maritta found out she had endometrial cancer. A small tumor had developed in the inner lining of her uterus. Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Luis Rojas with the Avera Women's Center for Gynecologic Cancer preformed a robotic assisted total hysterectomy. Both cancers were found and diagnosed at the earliest stages thanks to a proactive patient and a team of specialists at the Avera Cancer Institute.
Dr. Rojas says, "The concept at the Avera Cancer Institute is approaching cancer as a team. We try to commit to seeing patients as soon as we can. We commit to doing a first consult with an oncologist of any specialty within the 1st 48 hours. We are usually on the phone with each other. We know the patient with cancer needs treatment immediately."
In a matter of three short months, Maritta got two cancer diagnoses, had two surgeries, and has one great prognosis.
Maritta says, "We caught everything early. Both were stage one and I have hope and optimism for a long and healthy life. I am back to normal and feel wonderful and will enjoy every single day."
For those of you who know Maritta, if she has anything to do with it, you know you can count on that too.
Because Maritta believes whole heartedly in preventative medicine, she just had a colonoscopy and plans on going through the Planet Heart Check at the Avera Heart Hospital very soon.