It was by total chance that Mary Stuckert discovered that she had kidney cancer.
During an MRI of her knee for her orthopedic surgeon, a tumor was found her right kidney.
“Kidney cancer is hard to detect because you normally do not have symptoms until the disease has progressed,” said Stuckert, who now moving around the corner from the Bucyrus home she has lived in for decades.
Stuckert went to a urologist and underwent a CT scan.
“I was then referred to a doctor at Riverside for more tests and it was determined I definitely had kidney cancer,” she said about that fateful day on Dec. 8, 2003.
Stuckert said kidney cancer does not respond to chemo or radiation so she underwent surgery to remove her right kidney.
Last year, the unthinkable happened when Stuckert had an MRI that showed she had a tumor on her left kidney.
“I was told it is completely unrelated to the first tumor I had,” Stuckert said.
Before she could deal with the tumor, Stuckert woke up to severe back pain which was diagnosed as an abscess on her spine caused by an infection from MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
“They do not know how I got MRSA,” said Stuckert.
Stuckert spent one week in Riverside Hospital in Columbus then a few weeks at Altercare in Bucyrus for intravenous antibiotics.
Once Stuckert was well enough, she headed back to surgery but because of new technology, Stuckert did not have to lose her only remaining kidney.
“They were able to freeze the tumor which makes it die and become like scar tissue,” Stuckert said.
That was in March and Stuckert, a great-grandmother, said she is doing well.
“I volunteer with Home Care Matters in their funnel cake stand and I color greeting cards for the patients. I am also the president of the Bucyrus Tourism and Visitors Bureau. I like to stay active and help others,” said Stuckert.
Stuckert will help others at this year’s Crawford County Relay for Life event that will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday at Wynford High School by telling her story of cancer survival as one of four honorary survivors.
“I want to let people know that a good attitude is the best form of medicine and to always get a second opinion, or even a third and fourth. We have to look out for our own healthcare,” Stuckert said.
This year’s event will include a DJ, games, contests, inflatables for kids, raffles and prizes, food and the annual luminaria ceremony that will be held at 10 p.m. on Friday.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/crawfordcountyrelay/?fref=ts.