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What I learned from having cancer

That’s the name of Jeanne Greenfield’s 73 page collection of humorous anecdotes describing what she experienced after her cancer diagnosis in March 1990 and being told she had only three more months to live. Jeanne’s a legislative aide to Illinois Senator Dave Syverson and she’s joining me at 4:35 this afternoon (Friday) on the Puffman Show to share her incredible book and story. With only three months to live, Jeanne was able to take part in a Phase I clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her story is a sobering one to be sure. There were 20 women in that trial, and everybody in the trail was either a stage 3 cancer patient or a recurrent cancer patient. Jeanne was a 4B, which is the LAST/FINAL stage. That was 1990 and today, Jeanne Greenfield is the only woman still alive from that phase I clinical trial. She says, “I think in the beginning I was too stupid to know enough to give up and I didn’t think that I was so much of a fighter. My attitude today isn’t “why me” but “why am I still here when so many others aren’t?” The woman reported to Mayo Clinic once a month for 4 months for chemotherapy and took prescribed drugs at home between visits. She’s also had radiation therapy for her neck and abdominal areas-30 treatments in the front, back and sides for 6 weeks-and radiation implants, which caused her to have to lie down for 55 hours straight. The cancer had spread everywhere when they opened her up at Mayo. The treatments destroyed a kidney in the process and Jeannie has had to experience bypass surgeries to recover the circulation in her femoral arteries. In my opinion, she’s been through the mill, but is alive today and when I hear stories like Jeannie’s, I realize that I’ve had a “pretty easy ride” for the most part when it’s come to my own cancer journey. I’m looking forward to meeting this cancer survivor this afternoon at 4:35 on my program. I might mention that Jeanne, in her book, has managed to find humor in her cancer fight and if she’s anything like her book, she’s going to be a GREAT guest this afternoon.

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