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July 2, 2019

My life was saved nearly four years ago from my generous friend donating her kidney to me. Cathleen saved my life and I could never thank her enough for what she and her family were wiling to do to save me.
Though I still struggle with chronic and episodic pain from procedures, excisional biopsies and cancer surgeries, I would never give up living and am thankful every day!
In light of my challenges, I continue to cherish every good day and am so thankful to be here.

Updates (48)

May 3, 2020

April 29, 2020, We've been quarantined here in NYC for approx 6 weeks. Schools, many restaurants and countless other establishments are closed to business and social distancing continues.

After being postponed twice due to the coronavirus. I underwent two Moh's surgery last Wed., April 29, 2020 for prior biopsy proven invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of my upper back and my left ear helix (top cartilidge) with NYU Langone Moh's surgeon, J.A.Carucci MD, PhD. The back and ear helix Moh's surgeries involved several stages for complete removal of all malignant cells leaving a disease free margin.

When J.A. Carucci, MD first walked into my exam room, I pointed out a few new suspicious lesions which he agreed should be biopsied that day.

At the end of the scheduled Moh's surgeries, he biopsied my upper arm and and my nose (nasal supra tip). I received the pathology results in uncommonly swift time, in less than two days. My nose (supra tip) was +SCC and Moh's is scheduled for this Wed., 5/06/20. The second biopsy location on my upper arm was proven to be sun damage and can be treated with liquid nitrogen alone.

I was very uncomfortable and stayed in for several days due to my painful back and more painful left ear after Moh's surgeries. Tomorrow, May 6, 2020 I am undergoing another Moh's surgery my recent nose (nasal supra tip) biopsy. Result proven SCC in-situ. Due to its' location, the nose has a significantly higher chance of metastases and requires a Moh's surgery.

I will also have my ear and back sutures removed tomorrow, Wed. 5/6/20. I pray the nasal Moh's surgery doesn't require more steps. Each step involves removing more tissue to be examined for malignant cells. This continues until a clean margin appears for closure to occur. Often autologous skin grafts (patient's own tissue or skin) or cartilidge are used from the ear to build up nasal structure when additional tissue is removed due to extensive cancer.

I will update the end of the week to alert you how my Moh's surgery went.

September 17, 2019

Thank you very much to my recent donors. I apologize for not writing more and keeping you all up to date. I hope to do better. T

This year, 2019 has brought many unexpected challenges. The best news is that my renal transplant is functioning very well, offering me the best chance of success. My skin cancer has been very painful and greatly impacts my quality of life. I pray for any relief and a treatment to lessen my cancer burden.

I was feeling well and living a good life. I had been working as a Physician Assistant for three years at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City after graduating from Cornell Medical College PA program in Dec 1994.

I was diagnosed with my first squamous cell skin cancer on my right lower leg in March 1997. Fourteen months (June1998) after my first squamous cell skin cancer was excised, I had hundreds of skin cancers on sun-exposed areas of my skin. A year and a half after my first skin cancer appeared, my cancer was categorized as catastrophic. Soon after my renal transplant and Moh's surgical dermatologists discussed my case and other options due to the high chance that my skin cancer may metastasize, ending my life.

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January 12, 2022

We are here for you Betsy and sending lots of love and support - ALWAYS!!! XOXO Courtney, Danny, Timmy, Daniel & Will

Courtney Brennan

December 11, 2020

Dear Betsy,
Merry Christmas!

Sandra Kenny

May 3, 2019

Love you Bets!! Xoox

Joanne Waldron