Tag Archives: Mercy Medical Center

Little dog walks 20 blocks to find cancer-stricken owner in hospital

Cissy is a little white miniature schnauzer who lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

On Feb. 7, 2015, Cissy did something remarkable — she walked 20 city blocks by herself to a hospital in search of her sick owner, Nancy Franck.


Joel Christie reports for Daily Mail, Feb. 12, 2015, that Cissy had never run away from home before, but on Saturday the miniature schnauzer did just that, in order to find her human mom who has been at Mercy Medical Center for the last two weeks, after undergoing surgery for ovarian cancer.

Cissy disappeared from her yard in Cedar Rapids, only to show up about 20 blocks away at the medical center.

Mercy Security Officer Samantha Conrad told KCRG, ”We looked up and there was this dog just running across the lobby. We started looking at the tags and it had the address and we saw how far away this dog had lived, as far as going at least fifteen blocks to get here. So it was quite an amazing journey that this dog made.”


The security guard used the dog’s tags to call Nancy’s husband, Dale Franck.

Mr. Franck said Cissy had been acting weird and he could tell she seemed anxious to go somewhere. The dog had been missing about four hours before the hospital called.

“She wanted to go see her mom,” Mr. Franck told KCRG. “She was on a mission but she couldn’t find the right elevator to take.”

The couple’s daughter, Sarah Wood, went to the hospital to get Cissy and, of course, brought her to Nancy’s room.

However the family have not been able to figure out how Cissy managed to find her way through 20 city blocks to the hospital because she has never even been to the hospital before.

St. Thomas Aquinas said there are two orders of Angels — Virtues and Powers — whose charges are non-human bodily creatures. Cissy’s guardian angel must have been working overtime!

I can’t even begin to imagine the profound love that spurred this brave little dog to embark on her journey to be with her human . . . .

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5 surprising signs of cancer

Charlotte Libov reports for NewsMax Health, Dec. 18, 2012, that a top cancer surgeon says we mistakenly focus on pain as a sign of cancer. Instead, tip-offs to common types of cancer are generally not pain, but other signs, such as a new cough or a new lump on the body. Sometimes, pain occurs only after the cancer has spread.

Vadim Gushchin, M.D., a cancer surgeon at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center’s Institute for Cancer Care, says to watch out for symptoms like the five listed below. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, but you’ve never experienced them before, although the likelihood is that you don’t cancer, you should get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

1. Sudden Shortness of Breath

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, responsible for nearly 158,700 deaths a year. Sudden shortness of breath, wheezing, fatigue, and trouble swallowing are sometimes signs of early lung cancer. Coughing up blood-tinged phlegm is a symptom that should get immediate attention. While coughing is the number one symptom of lung cancer, the problem is that nearly all smokers cough. And, although they are in the minority, people who have never smoked, especially those exposed to second-hand smoke or radon, can get lung cancer as well.  Smokers should undergo regular low-dose lung CT screening to catch any possible cancers as early as possible.

2. Unexplained Tiredness

Colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths, kills 50,000 people a year, or one person every 9.3 minutes, and it kills men and women equally. Symptoms include changes in the stool and bathroom habits, and fatigue. Because tumors bleed, the loss of blood can cause weakness and tiredness. People who smoke, drink alcohol excessively, and those who eat a diet high in red meat and low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grain are at a higher risk.

3. Sudden Waist Size Gain

Difficulty fastening clothing over a waistline that’s suddenly expanded may not be a sign of overindulgence, but bloating, which can be an early symptom of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer kills more women each year than any other reproductive cancer, in part because early symptoms tend to be vague. However, bloating of a swollen belly, along with difficulty eating, feeling full quickly, abnormal menstrual cycles, gas, or pelvic or lower abdominal pain can be signals of the disease.

4. Yellowing of the Skin

Pancreatic cancer, a particularly deadly cancer, typically spreads with few symptoms. This is why, although fewer than 44,000 develop it each year, pancreatic cancer ranks as the nation’s fourth leading cancer killer. One signal is a yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes. As pancreatic cancer grows, it may block the bile duct that carries bile from the liver to the duodenum. This causes jaundice, which in turn leads to skin yellowing. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, and abdominal pain.

5. Itchy Breasts

Most women dread finding a lump in their breast because it is the classic sign of breast cancer. But the first symptom of inflammatory breast cancer, a less common form of the disease, is an irritated, itchy breast.