Missy M.“Proactive” may be the last word one associates with cancer but no word better describes what has been the main core of Missy Marrs’ approach to her journey. It is also a solid factor in her decision to enlist Bruckner Oncology in her crusade.
A young mother of two children from Kentucky, the word “proactive” is usually limited to such daily chores as ensuring lunch bags are packed and clothes are laid out neatly for the next day. In Missy’s world, however, a family history of ovarian cancer, which afflicted both her mother and grandmother, led to a genetic test resulting in a positive result for the BRCA 1 mutation, giving a whole new context to the meaning of “being proactive”.
Following a preventative double mastectomy and reconstruction, as well as a preventative hysterectomy, a routine ovarian biopsy diagnosed stage 1A ovarian cancer 3 years ago. As is standard practice in these situations, Missy embarked on recommended chemotherapeutic treatment locally. The cancer was treated but unfortunately, 3 years later, it had recurred.
This time around, Missy was taking no prisoners. The standard cancer treatment hadn’t worked for her mother or grandmother and now it wasn’t working for Missy, either.
Focused and determined, Missy embarked on a quest to do something different and more progressive. After researching different physicians, Missy learned about Dr. Bruckner from a pancreatic cancer patient who was under his treatment and had continued to beat the dire prognoses offered to her by so many others.
Several trips to various cancer centers, from Florida to Maryland, finally landed Missy at the doorstep of Bruckner Oncology. It was this encounter that she found the compatibility, progressiveness and hope that she had been searching for.
An important deciding factor for Missy was based on the “can do” attitude of everyone at Bruckner Oncology. Whereas other doctors with whom she had met with prior had all different responses to her cancer, essentially leaving the decision solely in her hands – a daunting and unsettling proposition, Dr. Bruckner elicited the confidence that she was looking for. As she put it, he explained that he never gives up – if one thing doesn’t work, it’s on to the next thing.
Missy began treatments with Bruckner Oncology in June 2012 and has been piling up the frequent flyer miles, traveling to NYC from Kentucky every two weeks. In December of 2010, an exploratory surgery revealed biopsy and lymph node results as cancer free. She continues with a strong, preventative chemotherapy regimen with Dr. Bruckner in what she hopes is the end of one journey and the beginning of her next.
As Missy sees it, cancer patients are tasked with summoning up the strength to battle mental fights as much as physical ones. Dr. Bruckner and Bruckner Oncology embrace the interplay of medical science, clinical experience and intuitive faith that provide the power to persist mentally and physically and continue to work toward a place of hope.
Missy continues to embody the proactive spirit that brought her to Bruckner Oncology in the first place. You can check out her ongoing work with her founding organization, the National Gene Test Fund at www.ngtf.org.