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At MMH, our patients speak volumes.

Teacher Learns Valuable Lesson with Cancer Diagnosis

Last August, Abby David, a teacher at South Dearborn High School, set off for her first week of school not realizing her time with her new students was about to be cut short. That week, Abby felt awful, experiencing intense stomach pains. When the school bell rang, she was out the door and on her way home in a hurry.

Abby’s husband, Jim, met her at home and rushed her to Margaret Mary’s emergency services department where a CT scan confirmed she had a blockage in her colon. From there, a colonoscopy was performed which determined she had colon cancer and would need surgery to remove the blockage.

“It was overwhelming. Who would have thought cancer would be a possibility at age 38?” said Abby. “I’m so grateful Dr. (Jon) Geers could get me in for surgery so quickly.”

The surgery was successful, however Abby was soon faced with a new challenge when she was told her lymph nodes tested positive for cancer and she would need chemotherapy.

“I had heard great things about Margaret Mary’s Cancer Center, but I wanted to get a second opinion,” said Abby. “After visiting a couple of facilities, there was no question where I wanted to go. During my first appointment at Margaret Mary, a room full of cancer professionals was there to discuss my plan. Their team approach made me confident I was in the right place.”

Abby received chemotherapy from September through March. Although each session lasted about four hours, she didn’t have trouble passing the time.

“During chemo, I’d bring my laptop and grade papers or teach virtually,” she said. “The staff took great care of me. We shared lots of stories and laughs. I think I’m going to be life-long friends with some of them. I was also happy to get weekly massages from the massage therapist.”

Now cancer-free, Abby is hopeful her story will help others who are going through tough times.

“Cancer is a difficult journey,” she said. “God forbid you receive a cancer diagnosis, but if you do, I suggest you keep a positive outlook and surround yourself with supportive people. I also recommend Margaret Mary’s Cancer Center hands down.”