Albuquerque woman with colon cancer appreciative of Lovelace Cancer Center staff

Mary Vasquez, 61, was diagnosed with Stage 2 Colon Cancer in 2017 after a routine colonoscopy, an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the colon and rectum.

“When I woke up after my colonoscopy, I was told I had colon cancer and they needed to operate,” Vasquez said. “I told them to do what they had to do. They had to cut my colon and sew it back. It was a seven hour surgery.”

After another colonoscopy in February 2019, Vasquez found out her cancer had returned.

“The cancer had grown to the size of a grape,” Vasquez said. “I didn’t want to believe it.”

Vasquez scheduled an appointment with Dr. Yubao Wang, oncologist with Lovelace Cancer Center.

“Dr. Wang and his staff took really good care of me. He is a wonderful man,” Vasquez said.

Vasquez’s journey to becoming cancer-free would start with chemotherapy and radiation, followed by surgery. Vasquez began treatments in March 2019 and finished in April 2019.

The environment during treatments always makes the patient feel safe, according to Vasquez. “I always felt safe. They are really trying to take care of you and help you heal.”

Vasquez’s surgery was scheduled for June 12, 2019 and was performed by Dr. David Hoang, general surgeon with Lovelace Medical Group.

“Dr. Hoang did a wonderful job. He did a great job surgically, I was very pleased. My scar is very small.”

Vasquez is appreciative of the staff she has encountered throughout her journey, and always felt as though she was in the right hands.

“Dr. Wang, Dr. McBride, Debra Winkeljohn and all of the staff were just incredible,” Vasquez explained. “You can talk to them about everything and they are always there for you.”

“I have had so much support from Lovelace and think Lovelace is a great hospital system. I am grateful for the care,” Vasquez said.

In 2020, Mary plans to go back to school to become a counselor for cancer patients.

Vasquez encourages men and women to make time for their colon cancer screening. To schedule your colon cancer screening, call 505.727.7833.