Alberta woman returns home after successful cancer surgery in the U.S.

By CHAT News Today (Brittney Matejka)
February 12, 2018 - 4:48pm

SEVEN PERSONS, AB. - Tanya Ellis is beyond thrilled to be home from Houston, Texas after receiving life changing surgery.

Ellis had a cancerous tumour removed from the underside of her liver four weeks ago. She is recovering at home with her family in Seven Persons,  located approximately 20 kilometres southwest of Medicine Hat, and has a large incision to remind her of the battle she has been fighting.

“It was 43 staples,” she said. “It’s from my chest bone down to my belly button and then across my hip.”

Doctors in Canada deemed her tumour inoperable, and gave her a thousand days to live. Ellis wasn’t ready to give up and sought out the M.D. Anderson Cancer Clinic in Houston, TX.

“They did a hybrid solution between actually physically operating and using robots,” she said. My surgeon said the margins were clear and he is completely confident he got all the tumour.”

Ellis will travel to Houston every three months for the next two years for follow-ups. Doctors will be using a new treatment post surgery instead of traditional chemotherapy. She will be the first Canadian to receive it.

“It’s a protocol out of Germany,” she said. “They take blood samples to test and see if there are any tumour or cancer markers come up at any point.”

April will be Ellis’ first follow-up post surgery, she plans to make it a family trip accompanied by her husband and two sons.

“I think it’s important the boys meet the surgeon that operated on me,” she said. “I want the boys to be able to shake his hand and thank him for saving their mom.”

Looking ahead to the future, Ellis is hopeful for what it will bring.

“It’s going to be the quality time that we’re going to experience,” she said. “We are looking forward to getting a new puppy.”

The $167,000 dollar US surgery was made possible from generous donations in the community.

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