Health news

Posted Oct. 04, 2011, at 3:32 p.m.

Survivor of the Week

BANGOR — The Susan G. Komen Maine Race for the Cure Bangor and Survivor Sponsor Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway recently honored Survivor of the Week Gini Hodsdon of Bangor.

Fifteen years ago, when Bangor began its first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Hodsdon was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I really think you have a predisposition. Cancer doesn’t run in my family, on either side,” Hodsdon said. “I think it was just God giving me a wakeup call that I was too lackadaisical in my life. I was too laid-back. I really do believe this was just a wake-up call for me that life can be extremely short.

“I felt a lump. I went to my primary doctor. Everything was done very quickly, so I knew there was some concern on their part. I was diagnosed a day and half later,” Hodsdon said. “It was that fast, for the results of a biopsy and a mammogram.”

When Hodsdon received her diagnosis she was in her surgeon’s office at Eastern Maine Medical Center. “You could have knocked me over with a feather. He literally got up off his chair and said ‘Are you going to be OK?’ That’s how devastated I was.”

Hodsdon had her surgery two weeks later.

“I remember coming out of surgery and my husband was there and he said everything went very well. Looking back I was extremely lucky,” she said. “Somebody upstairs was looking out for me.

“I had the option of a lumpectomy, or mastectomy. They wanted me to sign papers, so if they got in there and had to do a mastectomy, they could do it right then and there. I wouldn’t sign,” Hodsdon said. “Hindsight now, I realize, why go through two surgeries if you don’t have to? My surgeon at the time told me that I was very lucky that it was well-encapsulated and that they got everything and took out one of my lymph nodes.”

After surgery Hodsdon began treatment, starting with chemotherapy.

“They waited for my scar to heal some, because they had to put a shunt in,” Hodsdon said. “My veins weren’t strong enough to take the chemotherapy. I started in October and finished in January. I was sicker than a dog.”

Hodsdon finished chemotherapy and moved on to radiation, a process that lasted four months.

“I was dreading radiation. I had heard some horror stories about it, but none of that ever happened to me,” she said. Hodsdon has been cancer-free for 14 years. “I am still very conscious of it. Every time I think about putting it on the back burner my scar reminds me. I can’t ever let it slip my mind.”

Hodsdon retired from nursing in 2009 and began working in the laundry department of housekeeping at Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway.

“I like folding laundry. I look forward to coming to work every morning,” she said.

The Bangor Race celebrated 15 years last month. To learn more about the Komen Maine Race for the Cure, visit http:// www.komenmaine.org or call 262-7117.

Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway is the Survivor Sponsor for the 2011 Race. As part of its support, Hollywood Slots hosted a reception the night before the Race for survivors participating in the Race and a guest.

New medical staff

BREWER — Penobscot Community Health Care has announced that Dr. Atul Soreng has joined the medical staff of Brewer Medical Center at 735 Wilson St. Soreng’s practice centers on all aspects of high-quality family medical care including maintenance, with special interest in chronic disease management.

“Brewer Medical Center of PCHC is very proud to welcome its newest primary care physician, Dr. Atul K. Soreng,” said Dr. Robert Allen, executive medical director. “Dr. Soreng is a very knowledgeable and compassionate physician whom patients will find to be an excellent provider.”

Soreng earned a doctor of medicine degree at the University of Delhi, India; and completed a residency in family medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he was co-chief resident. He is a member of the American Association of Family Physicians.

For information and appointments, call 989-1567. For information about PCHC’s providers, services, locations and commitment to quality, visit http://www.PCHC.com.

Understanding Medicare

BANGOR — Understanding the Medicare program and finding the right plan can be confusing to those who are about to enroll. But even people who have been on Medicare for some time need to keep up with new options and changes.

To share information about Medicare, Joan Brissette from Eastern Area Agency on Aging will be the featured speaker at the next Caring Connections Bone Health Information & Discussion Group at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at the Bangor Y on Second Street.

The talk is free, and anyone who wants to learn more about Medicare is welcome to attend. A calcium-rich snack and recipe will be provided.

Space is limited. Those who would like to attend are asked to RSVP to Robin Long at 941-2808. Caring Connections is a cooperative program of the Bangor Y and Eastern Maine Medical Center, supported by the fundraising efforts of Healthcare Charities.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/10/04/the-weekly/health-news-9/ printed on December 27, 2014