Cancer patient lives one day at a time

Staff writer

Beatrice Martinez, of Marion, was surprised when doctors diagnosed her with ovarian cancer in 2008.

“It’s not something that you figure would ever get you, but it does,” she said.

Since then, she has received one piece of bad news after another. During surgery to remove the ovarian cancer, the surgeon discovered stage-three cancer in her small intestine, as well.

After the surgery, she became severely anemic, but a blood transfusion greatly improved her strength.

“I felt just a world of difference,” Martinez said.

She also was interested to learn her blood type, A-positive.

“I’m an A-plus,” she said, laughing.

With treatment, her cancer went into remission for seven months. In 2009, doctors discovered she had a stomach tumor that would require surgery, but they wanted to build up her strength before the surgery.

The tumor required that Martinez be tube fed, which she didn’t like. The nutrition given to her through the tube was bright yellow, she recalled.

Even with her strength built up, the doctor didn’t think she had a good chance to survive. During the surgery to remove the stomach tumor, doctors made another discovery: Martinez had gall bladder cancer.

She travels to Newton every Tuesday for chemotherapy, and it is going well so far.

“I have lots of friends that pray and pray and pray for me,” Martinez said.

The surgeries and chemotherapy have left her weakened and mostly homebound, but she is getting stronger.

When she does leave her home, Martinez wears a surgical mask because her immune system is compromised. Some people tease her about the mask, but she is more worried about her health.

She crochets to keep her hands limber, working to overcome the effects of chemotherapy and diabetes. Martinez is crocheting a queen-sized afghan for her granddaughter.

She likes crocheting, because it doesn’t leave her with time to feel sorry for herself.

“I tell everyone, ‘You live one day at a time,’ and I worry about tomorrow when I wake up and it is tomorrow,” Martinez said.

 

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