Denver, CO

The spirit of a mother against rare cancer

Stephanie Graham
Gus Moretta/Unsplash

DENVER, CO - Cancer is a disease that scares many people, but not for Cathy Pane, a 39-year-old high school math teacher with four sons who fought against small bowel cancer bravely and unyieldingly. Cathy has gone through 12 cancer treatments with her beloved husband and children at the cancer centre of UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital.

The story begins in the summer of last year, to be exact in August. Cathy began to feel pain in the stomach and immediately went to the doctor in Denver to run a series of tests. Then the doctor suspected she had cancer but didn't know what and how. Eventually, his doctor referred him to the University of Colorado Cancer Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus, where she struggled.

At UCHealth, she went through a series of initial chemotherapy to suppress his stage 4 cancer progress. Then with surgery for 13 hours from Dr Steven Ahrendt, Cathy's surgeon and professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, finally found the type of cancer. Ahrendt performed cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy and traced it to small bowel cancer.

Furthermore, together with Christopher Lieu, a medical oncologist, Ahrendt performs multidisciplinary treatment and genetic testing to determine the origin of this rare cancer. The results are not specific why Cathy can get small bowel cancer. During treatment, Lieu and Ahrendt consistently monitored Cathy's condition and saw regular developments from before.

With the chemotherapy series ending, she hopes this is a good start for her family. Cathy strongly believes that the prayers and support from her husband, children, family and support group for cancer have been her strength over the years. She is also ready to look to the future and spend a lot of time with his children.

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