Marsha S.

Marsha's story

"Patients should be the CEO of their treatment. Getting a pump is a powerful treatment that I would choose again if I had to do it all over."

Individual results may vary. Talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of the therapy and to find out if the 3000 HAI Pump is right for you.

Marsha's story

Diagnosis: Stage 4 colorectal cancer liver metastases
Age at diagnosis: 41

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"It all started with stomach pains that grew worse over time, until one day, it felt like somebody was stabbing me in the stomach with knives," Marsha recalls. In August 2016, she went to see a gastroenterologist who thought the cause might be bacterial colitis; then a colonoscopy revealed an obstruction. After a biopsy, her doctor diagnosed her with colon cancer. She was 41 years young with two children, ages five and seven. "I had no family history of any type of cancer. I exercised, ate well, and was BRCA negative. Cancer wasn't supposed to happen to me, but it did." With her cancer at stage 3, she underwent colon resection and a grueling 12 rounds of chemotherapy. At the end of the treatment, she was given a clean bill of health and thought she could finally put the nightmare behind her.

Unfortunately, routine blood work and a PET scan shortly thereafter confirmed there was a large tumor on her liver and her cancer diagnosis was changed to stage 4. Marsha was referred to a liver surgeon, who recommended surgery immediately. "I'd heard of Hepatic Artery Infusion (HAI) therapy through a friend who'd received it nine years earlier and had had no evidence of disease for over eight years." She asked the liver surgeon about it and was told HAI therapy was "overtreatment" in her case, because her tumor was already operable.

Nevertheless, she decided to seek a second opinion, mostly to confirm that liver resection was the best course of treatment. The second surgeon strongly recommended liver resection and Hepatic Artery Infusion therapy together. Now she was frustrated, confused, uncertain what to do and who to listen to. Finally, she demanded that the surgeon who recommended HAI therapy explain why he was right and his way better.

"That's easy," he said. "HAI therapy significantly increases chances of survival."

That was all Marsha needed to know. Her surgeon went on to explain the treatment and its history in detail and directed her to some of the published research on the treatment. She read the research and was sold. "I wanted to do everything in my power to stay alive for my kids and put this disease behind me, and I knew unequivocally that that hockey puck gave me my best chance."

Marsha had the pump implanted in May 2017 along with a liver resection. Today, she is no longer in treatment and enjoys life with her family. "I am eternally grateful to the doctors and the research that gave me access to this amazing therapy that has given me the best possible chance of survival."

Q&A

Q: What is it like to live with the pump?
I’m a smaller person so I notice it more, but certainly don’t regret having it. I’ve been able to do most of the activities post-pump that I did before cancer, including the elliptical and wrestling with my kids.
Q: What is the refill process like?
The nurses prepare the pump site and refill it. The process is simple and less painful than a flu shot and takes less than 15 minutes.

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