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Buddy Check 3 "Sondra Massraf Update"

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
Breast Cancer patient Sondra Massraf allowed us along for a radiation treatment a couple of months ago. She has now entered the chemotherapy phase of her recovery and has invited us to capture a chemotherapy session. Channel Three's Kathryn Daniel has the story in tonight's Buddy Check Three.


Sondra Massraf does look a little different from the last time we visited...she's lost her hair...but other than that.....

Sondra Massraf/Breast Cancer Survivor; "I'm still me. I'm still the same, funny, happy person that I always was and I don't want people to treat me different."

Her teenage daughter is leading the way with that...

Sondra Massraf; "She was the first one to see me without my hair and she told me, she said, "Mom, you are one hot, bald mama so that was great."

This is Sondra's second chemotherapy treatment, she'll have two more.

After her first one three weeks ago -- she got severe infections and was hospitalized...so far, nausea has not been a problem, but the fatigue is.

Nurse Practitioner Penny Kirkpatrick says that synopsis is typical for modern chemo patients.

Penny Kirkpatrick/Nurse Practitioner, Sacred Heart Hospital; "All the horror stories you've heard in the past about chemo a lot of those are diminished. That doesn't say that chemo is easy for patients, but it's more manageable now, more tolerable. They are surprised."

Kirkpatrick says better, stronger drugs -- and a greater variety of them help combat symptoms.

The drugs are delivered via i-v over a four hour span...the medicine is so toxic -- the nurses who prepare them must do so under a hooded vat...then checked by five different certified chemo nurses before they're administered.
Penny Kirkpatrick; "Safety. Right person, right dose, right location."

Chemo drugs are essentially poison....killing good cells along with cancerous ones.

Penny Kirkpatrick; "Depending on what drug that you're using, you would perhaps be killing the cells, or in some cases it changes the D.N.A, in some cases it's you're blocking a receptor site on a cell so that the cancer cell cannot attach to a healthy cell and change it."

That's why hair often falls out...hair is rapidly growing cells which get poisoned and die...but it comes back, often better and healthier than ever.

That's what Sondra's counting on -- all the way around

When we tell her she's brave to share these moments with us, she insists she's really not.
Sondra Massraf; "I'm just doing what I gotta do." please keep head shake and little pause before the standard outcue.
Buddy Check 3 "Sondra Massraf Update"


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