A mother’s love is like no other.
Like most mothers, there’s nothing Bradford resident Sandra Szentesy wouldn’t do for her children, Leah, 30, and Kaitlyn (Katie), 29, including donating her own stem cells to help keep them alive.
And that’s exactly what she had to do last month, as Katie fights for her life after being diagnosed with cancer for a second time this past February.
Her first bout of cancer began in 2018, when in the summer she began developing symptoms associated with breast cancer. Six months later, after multiple appointments and examinations, she was diagnosed with Angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that develops in the inner lining of blood vessels.
“It presented itself behind her right breast,” explained Sandra. And to get clear margins, Katie would need a radical mastectomy, which she had done in February 2019.
The radical mastectomy involved removing part of her back to cover the hole from the mastectomy. Katie had decided to remove both her breasts since she carries the PALB2 gene that puts her at a higher risk for developing breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer.
It took three months for her body to heal from the surgery.
“But she was always so positive,” Sandra said.
Katie had been following up with her doctors every four months, and getting clear CT scans. The plan was to have Katie’s breasts reconstructed in 2020, as you need to be clear of Angiosarcoma for one year before being considered for the surgery.
But bad luck struck Katie yet again.