Sandi Running: Cancer Center Testimonial
Meet Sandi Running: retired HPD police officer with 5 feet, 10 inches of cancer-surviving determination.
On July 3, 2018, Sandi was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. After chemotherapy, radiation, a double mastectomy, and reconstruction surgery, Sandi credits God, Kelsey-Seybold physicians, and having a positive mental attitude for her complete recovery and refreshed outlook on life.
Sandi Running was 54, when diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer by Dr. Tejash “TJ” Patel, chief of Hematology and Oncology at Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center.
“He told me I was there not for a treatment – but for a cure,” Sandi says. “From that moment forward, never did I think for even one second that I wouldn’t be just fine.”
Sandi attributed her positive attitude as an important part of overcoming her cancer. “I put my faith in God and the doctors at Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center,” she says.
After 30 years with the Houston Police Department, Sandi and her husband, who had also been in law enforcement, retired to the peaceful surroundings of Wimberly, Texas. While living in those rustic surroundings where the Cypress Creek and Blanco River meet, something unexpected happened: She noticed a tenderness under her right arm.
She went to her primary care physician who dismissed Sandi’s symptoms as nothing to worry about “at least for the time being,” he said. However, suspecting her condition might have been underdiagnosed, she drove 180 miles to Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center at Berthelsen Main Campus near the Texas Medical Center.
It’s a good thing she did. A biopsy was done on her swollen lymph node, which tested positive for cancer. Without wasting any time, Sandi was sent to see Dr. Patel.
Upon her first visit, Dr. Patel aggressively addressed her cancer. He immediately ordered diagnostic tests including a mammography, MRI, and PET scan. The diagnosis was sobering. Cancerous cells were diagnosed in several lymph nodes surrounding her breast.
The first of 16 rounds of chemotherapy began one week after confirming her diagnosis.
“I knew that chemotherapy and radiation were critical for cancer treatment, and I’d been told to expect the side effects to be unpleasant, ” Sandi remembers. “However, at Kelsey-Seybold’s Cancer Center, my side effects weren’t bad at all. Oh, I lost all my hair – even my eyebrows – but it all grew back. ”
Following chemo, Dr. Treneth Baker, chief of General Surgery at Kelsey-Seybold, successfully removed nine cancerous lymph nodes under her right breast.
What followed was six weeks of daily radiation treatments. Then, after a brief period of healing, Dr. Baker performed a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
Today, Sandi is cancer free and living life to the fullest with her husband and four children. “Every day is a good day. It’s great to have God and Kelsey-Seybold on my side,” she concludes.