Kris is from MA and was diagnosed with Stage 2 Grade 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on Jan 20, 2014. Kris chose Mass General Hospital to receive all her breast cancer care. Kris first had a lumpectomy on her left side, however unfortunately it came back without clear margins. She then had a revision of the lumpectomy 3 weeks later. She was told her tissue was very atypical and further pathology results showed the need for a mastectomy, which she had in March 2014. After surgery, she was told that she did not have any lymph node involvement. After recovering from the latest surgery and negative chest, pelvis and abdominal CTs and a bone scan, she underwent 16 weeks of ACT protocol chemotherapy.
Radiation was the next line of treatment. Through her Radiation Oncologist who was co-authoring a research study about cardiac benefits of Proton Beam Radiation, Kris was told she could be part of this study and therefore receive Proton Beam radiation. The research being conducted measured the cardiac outcomes of 50 women of similar ages and diagnoses who were given Proton Beam Radiation compared to others who received standard radiation. Kris welcomed the opportunity to receive Proton Beam and received 25 sessions over 5 weeks at Mass General Hospital’s Burr Proton Center. MGH was one of the first hospitals in the world to establish their own Proton Beam Center. Kris was humbled with the fact that people who were receiving Proton Beam radiation came from all over the world to the Burr Center. She admits to feeling guilty for being able to receive it, knowing she only had to travel 29 miles from her home to MGH. Kris’ insurance paid for the Proton Beam radiation based on her participation in the MGH research. Kris was given ECHO cardiograms pre, during, and post Proton Beam Radiation and her cardiac status had not changed from the normal parameters it was pre-treatment.
Post cancer treatment, Kris opted for bilateral TRAM flap reconstructive plastic surgery, which also included a prophylactic right sided mastectomy, and a prior vascular surgical component. After the long recovery from that series of operations, one of her Plastic Surgeons recommended a specialty Oncology Physical Therapist group in Wellesley, MA, Chestnut Hill Physical Therapy. Kris was evaluated by them and received over one and a half years of specialized physical therapy including myofascial massage and other treatments to break down scar tissue and improve range of motion, which is now within the same measurable parameters as it was pre-cancer.
Kris has been married to her fabulous husband, Richard for 17 years. She credits him and their wonderful daughter Sara, along with her very special group of friends for keeping her completely supported during the past 5 years.