Friday, December 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

One cancer survivor’s success story

By
April 2, 2011 |

When Pam Mari received a call in June that something suspicious had turned up on her recent mammogram, she was more irritated than anything else.

“I’d been called back in before and it was always nothing,” said Mari, director of student services for the Davis school district. “I felt quite inconvenienced actually, and was in a bit of snit when I went back in.”

But this time it turned out to be something after all, and Mari ended up grateful it was caught so early.

“They literally caught the cancer at the cellular level,” she noted, and because of that, she had many more options for treatment than had the breast cancer been more advanced.

“A very good reason for early detection is that you get options,” she noted. “Later down the line, there just aren’t as many.”

Her first choice, a lumpectomy, didn’t work out because of the cancer’s location, so she ended up having a mastectomy and will take the drug Tamoxifen for the next five years. But she avoided radiation and chemotherapy, and her prognosis is very good, with just a 5 percent chance of recurrence.

Between mid-July and mid-January, Mari missed just about a month of work and was able to work from home as well. Now she’s spreading the word to everyone she knows — and for good reason. At least one friend took heed and learned she had a dangerous form of the cancer earlier than she otherwise would have.

“Everyone ran out for mammograms,” Mari said. “On the one hand, it’s a private ordeal. But on the other hand, it’s an epidemic, and we need to help each other take care of ourselves. So if talking about it means that people will have regular checkups, let’s talk about it.”

Mari believes her breast cancer likely was the result of her prolonged use of hormone replacement therapy, begun following her bout with bone cancer 20 years ago. HRT was long believed to help with bone density and Mari was expecting to take it for the rest of her life. But now it’s linked to breast cancer as well.

Mari figures the bone cancer two decades ago and the breast cancer last year are “one big event.”

And getting through both, she said, required the love of family and friends.

“The power of support systems cannot be overstated. Knowing the people you work with want you to come back to work, and that your family is there at the drop of the hat mean everything, as does knowing the work you do is the best possible thing you could be doing for your life’s work,” she said.

“Bone cancer 20 years ago took me from being a very physically active person to a disabled person in a day,” said Mari, who uses a cane. “It changed everything.”

This bout of cancer was different, she said: “This is much more personal, but it will lead me to better places.

“You can say ‘Why me?’ Or you can say, ‘How is this a conduit to greater meaning in my life?’ ”

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at aternus@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8051.

Comments

comments

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    UCD, UC team up to study effects of climate change

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Teens’ goal? Helping other soccer players around the world

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    There’s a plate for you at the Davis Holiday Meal

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Police seek suspect in hit-and-run collision

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Help sought in search for runaway Davis teen

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Feds release ‘framework’ to rate colleges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Gunfire leads to DUI arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Creative women share food, friendship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Welcome 2015 with Mumbo Gumbo at a gala bash

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Luminaria display planned in West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Blue Christmas service planned at Davis churches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Willett bench is a labor of love

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

     
    Author! Author! UCD hosts talks, Q and A on Asia-focused books

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Libraries will be closed around the holidays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    See diving ducks at city wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Downtown gift cards get a new perk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    A home for the holidays?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Nobel Prize winner will discuss research related to autism

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Explorit: Experience nano this spring

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Soup’s On will benefit NAMI-Yolo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Grandmothers support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Forum

    He needs them to pay up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Cheers and Jeers: Have you ever seen the rain?

    By Our View | From Page: A14

    Defeating Ebola involves medicine, and prayers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    Kudos to Central Park Gardens donors and volunteers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Sports

    Cousins is back in lineup but Kings fall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devil boys hold off scrappy Rio Linda

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Blue Devils rout an undefeated Liberty squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD RB coach Wright heads to Florida; what next?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Aggies nab junior college defensive lineman

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Nostra-Dunning makes his college bowl picks

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

    Tennyson’s first goal is the difference in Sharks win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Name droppers: Trio elected to academy of inventors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Arts

    DMTC announces auditions for ‘Sweeney Todd’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    ‘Before Midnight’ screening is tonight

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    DMTC plans New Year’s Eve party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

    Tom Rigney and Flambeau to play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
     
    .

    Business

    After 19 years, Alfa Romeo returns

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: A16

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics