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Buddy Check 3 (Sondra Massraf)

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
Last month Sondra Massraf was diagnosed with breast cancer...Shortly after she saw our August Buddy Check Three report, sondra emailed us in support of the segment.

She offered to help us in any way, even welcoming us along for a radiation treatment as she began her cancer battle.

Channel Three's Kathryn Daniel humbly accepted sondra's generous invitation.

For four months, Sondra Massraf knew she had a lump in her breast...It had been years since her last mammogram...Finally her mother made her call the doctor.

Sondra Massraf/Breast Cancer Survivor; "She said, 'Here's the phone.' and she literally put the phone in my hand and made me. So thank God for moms."

Within days, Sondra had a diagnosis of late stage one breast cancer.

Sondra Massraf; "I have a 14 year old daughter, that was probably the hardest thing, was telling her."

Sondra Massraf; "We cried together, we cried together. And then I told her it was gonna be okay."

Sondra says she wants to demistify the entire process of fighting cancer for folks...To put a freshly diagnosed and positive face on the disease.

In that spirit, sondra takes us along for a radiation therapy session.

She's already had a lumpectomy to remove the tumor and three lymph nodes.

Her doctor, Radiation Oncologist Gerald Lowrey says a high powered x-ray beam is shot at pinpoint precision where sondra's tumor used to be.

Dr. Gerald Lowrey/Sacred Heart Hospital; "Hit those cells with this high density which will damage their D.N.A. Now the cancer cell doesn't die that day, not that day neccesarily but it programs the cell to die so the next time that cancer cell try to divide and become two cancer cells, they will self destruct and the body will clean up the residue."

Lowrey says radiation planners called "Docimistrists" spend hours, sometimes days, mapping out a patient's case using math and physics.

Dr.Gerald Lowery; "Give the tumor a certain amount of dose and block the heart, or the lungs as maximally as you can."

Sondra gets radiation five days a week, for fifteen minute sessions.

She's had few side effects...A little fatigue, some soreness and a metallic taste in her mouth.

She says she doesn't feel a thing during her treatments.

At first they overwhelmed her...But now she looks forward to them...They make her feel powerful against the cancer.

During them, she meditates and thinks positive thoughts.

Her prognosis is excellent...Lowery says she has only a five per cent chance of reoccurance over the next ten years.

Sondra Massraf; "I don't want to take it lightly because I don't think you should take it lightly but you have to remain positive and not let it get you down. I think that it's probably the hardest thing I've ever gone through, but I think in the end it will be the best thing."

Sondra starts her chemotherapy treatments in October...She's also invited us to join us for that part of her recovery.Buddy Check 3 (Sondra Massraf)


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