Tricounty News

Deb Reinert v. breast cancer: REMATCH!

By JeanDoranMatua,Editor Reprinted from Sept. 22, 2011, Tri-County News

One in eight women in America will some day face breast cancer. They're working on better cures and detection, but for now that's the reality we face.

Deb Reinert was diagnosed with breast cancer on Halloween 2001. She went through four rounds of chemotherapy, 32 rounds of radia-tion, and a lumpectomy on her left breast. Since the treatment, she has been cancer-free at all her follow-up appointments.

The five-year survival mark is a major milestone. So is the 10-year mark.

But just three months shy of 10 years, something wasn't right and Deb had a gnawing feeling about it.

In July this year, Deb was mov-ing things around at Triple R Grill and Bar which she owns and man-ages. She dropped a box, right into her left breast. Afterward, it really hurt. Deb thought it had somehow become infected. "It didn't look right," she said, and she called for a doctor appointment.

By the time she got to the doc-tor, just a few days later, the out-side of her entire left breast was hot and painful, and it had an orange-peel appearance. There was also a lump the size of a golf ball.

"You know what I'm seeing?" her doctor asked. Her tone was ominous.

"Just tell me it's an infection," Deb told her doctor. "Don't tell me it's cancer again."

The next week, Deb had an MRI and the next week after that, a biopsy. She waited two agoniz-ing days for an answer. It was a Friday, and Deb's 50th birthday, and she couldn't bear to wait until Monday for an answer. She went to the clinic, and finally got the call, at 5:10 p.m. By this time, the lump was the size of a lemon, and it was so painful Deb needed pain pills.

The news: infiltrating ductile carcinoma. Cancer. Again.

Exactly two weeks after that first doctor appointment, Deb met with a surgeon to discuss her options. Deb had already made up her mind, though:doublemastectomyassoon as possible. (If all goes well, that sur-gery should be in January.

Now, chemo is part of Deb's life again. By the time of her first chemo appointment, the lump had consumed the entire breast. Deb is receiving the strongest chemo there is because, in the doctors' words, they needed to move fast.

"The medicines have come a long way in 10 years," Deb said. Her first time around, she was throwing up a lot. Now, Deb admits, "If I had hair, you wouldn't even know anything was wrong." Mid-November should be the end of chemo for Deb. (They do chemo before surgery so they can tell that the medicines are working.)

She's completed three of her six rounds of chemotherapy. Her hair has fallen out by the handfuls. She's losing her eyelashes, some-thing she laments more than los-ing her hair.

Deb has had some other side-effects from treatment, includ-ing mouth sores, thrush, stom-ach cramping and gastrointestinal irregularity. Now there are bet-ter and faster ways to remedy the side-effects.

After her second dose of chemo, Deb got so swollen she could hardly see. They gave her steroids which solved the swelling problem.

"Now I know why athletes take steroids," Deb joked. "They make you wanna get up and run for 10 miles." The steroids also help calm restlessness.

She has not been alone in this. She has friends and family help-ing, and different people are tak-ing her to chemo each time.

She's also had the company of Shadow, a cocker spaniel at Centra-Care who has been trained for six years to be a "healing dog." Shadow comes into the chemo room, curls up on the side that's getting chemo, and falls asleep. He responds to 80 voice and hand commands, and is very gentle around patients. Deb was the very first patient to have a visit from Shadow.

Donald Borman, 83

Donald Borman of St. Cloud died Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011. He was 83.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at St. Mary's Cathedral Lower Church with Reverend Anthony Oel-rich officiating. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, and from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud. Parish prayers will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Entombment with military honors will be in Assumption Cemetery.

Donald J. Borman was born aAug. 4, 1928, in Kimball to Joe and Mabel (Arnold) Borman. He graduated from Kimball High School and served in the U.S. Army from 1948-1951. Don mar-ried Carol Zabinski Aug. 11, 1962, at Holy Angels Catholic Church

in St. Cloud. He was employed by the Ford Motor Plant in St. Paul, and later at the Burlington North-ern Railroad in Waite Park. Don enjoyed hunting in his younger years, and fishing during his retirement.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Howard, Lewis, and Everett.

He is survived by his wife; daughter Helen (and Dan) Koland; grandsons Daniel and Peter Koland; and sister Lorraine Scha-bel.

The Borman family would like to express their gratitude and appreciation for the exceptional care and concern shown by the Coborn Cancer Care Center at CentraCare Health Plaza, and the St. Cloud Hospital Hospice staff.

Today, the pain is gone, and the lump is back to a golfball size. Her chemo days are scheduled every three weeks, and each takes about seven hours from start to finish.

"In my mind, I'm already on the other side of therapy," Deb said. "I know what I need to get there.

Deb is very grateful for her 35 employees at Triple R. "They know what to do so I can be gone," Deb said. "I don't have to worry about things there."

A "Country Christmas Benefit" benefit is being planned for 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at Triple R in Kimball to help Deb with medical and surgical expenses. Watch for details in the Tri-County News.

Deb credits early detection, and quick action by the doctors, for the good results she expects this time around. If you want to take odds in this rematch, betting on Deb is a sure thing.

Editor's note: Deb has completed her chemotherapy, and tests on Tuesday this week (Dec. 6) show that the chemo did its job. Surgery is not yet scheduled, but it likely will take place next month.