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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cancer Survivor Stories

With their stories of strength, hope and courage, cancer survivors offer inspiration to one another, to their friends and families, and to the doctors and nurses who care for them. Here are some of these stories, shared by patients who have been treated at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and take part in UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center programs.

 

With their stories of strength, hope and courage, cancer survivors offer inspiration to one another, to their friends and families, and to the doctors and nurses who care for them. Here are some of these stories, shared by patients who have been treated at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and take part in UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center programs.

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John Bailey — Strength and perseverance in recovery from kidney cancer

John BaileyJohn Bailey had been having trouble with kidney stones since the late 1980s — two or three a year, by his estimation. Then, in 2002, he was diagnosed with cancer in his right kidney. The kidney was removed. Bailey went back to work and returned for an MRI every year. “For a while, everything was looking pretty good,” he said. But in late 2011, he and his doctor discovered that the left kidney now had cancer.


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Michael Mahaffey — Thirty-year cancer survivor recalls life-saving care at UC Davis

Michael MahaffeyMichael Mahaffey was an active 42-year-old living on his ranch in Auburn, California. A successful businessman set to leave for Europe, Mahaffey noticed his gums starting to swell and pain behind his eyes. He had never had a serious health condition before, and figured a routine blood test would provide a simple explanation. But it wasn’t simple. A bone marrow test revealed that Mahaffey had acute leukemia. His oncologist at the time told him he probably would not live more than a month and a half. That was 30 years ago.
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Iryss Holliday — Rare disease, exceptional outcome

Iryss Holliday © UC RegentsDwayne Holliday thought his daughter, Iryss, had a urinary tract infection. But when they felt a rock-hard lump on the right side of her abdomen, the dad took his little girl to see the doctor. Within 24 hours, Iryss went from the possibility of a urinary tract infection to the strong potential of a diagnosis for kidney cancer.

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John Gallagher — Conquering mountains and head and neck cancer

John GallagherJohn Gallagher first noticed a lump under his jaw right before his annual physical. His primary care physician at UC Davis Health System said it might be a sinus infection that had caused a lymph node to overreact, but to return if the lump didn’t go away. Gallagher returned and was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who performed a biopsy. The diagnosis was throat cancer.
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Tura Jenkins — Portrait of a cancer survivor

Tura Jenkins © UC RegentsTura Jenkins was already emotionally shaken from a family death when she was diagnosed with Stage III endometrial cancer. Treatment was aggressive and included chemotherapy, external and internal radiation treatments, and blood transfusions.


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William Olive — Back on the job after participation in sarcoma clinical trial

William Olive © UC RegentsWilliam Olive, a deputy sheriff in Oroville, first noticed numbness, tingling and pain down his leg. His personal physician, a member of his SWAT team, told Olive that the lump wasn’t normal, and ordered scans. The scans showed a soft tissue mass on his buttock near his hip.


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Rollie Swingle — "Being in clinical trials has kept me alive and healthy"

Rollie Swingle © UC RegentsRollie Swingle was diagnosed with Stage IV prostate cancer in January 2004, with lesions detected on his spine, ribs and right pelvis.  Rollie joined a clinical trial of a new prostate cancer treatment and for the next six years enjoyed life as he had always done.  Recently, signs of the disease had returned; Rollie is fighting back by taking part in another clinical trial.

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Francesca Arnaudo — "Miracle girl"

Francesca Arnaudo © UC RegentsBy the age of 10, Francesca Arnaudo already had survived two cancer diagnoses – osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia, a white blood cell malignancy.  Routine follow-ups in 2009 led to the discovery of a third type of cancer, a lung cancer known as bronchioalveolar carcinoma.  Fortunately, early detection and surgery have allowed this unstoppable girl to overcome this latest hurdle.
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Cindy Baumeister — Ovarian cancer patient thriving with a great attitude and innovative treatment

Cindy Baumeister © UC RegentsNo one expects a diagnosis of cancer, particularly at a time when the career is in full bloom, the body healthy and nothing at all seems awry. But Cindy Baumeister got that call in 2010. She was just 53, and going great guns in her job with Intel when an ultrasound done to investigate a symptom she thought was related to menopause revealed a mass on one of her ovaries.

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Barbara Mooney — Precious time for the great grandchildren

Barbara Mooney © UC RegentsWhen Barbara Mooney was first diagnosed with cancer in October 1999, she didn't think she would see her grandkids grow up. Now, she babysits her great-grandchildren.

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