Planning for the Unexpected: For You & Your Family

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Pamela Black, a nurse and breast cancer patient receiving treatment at Mary Bird Perkins’ Covington location, knows all too well that the unexpected can happen when it comes to health. She is also an avid believer in planning ahead to ensure your final medical wishes are carried out. Ensuring this happens on your terms, especially […]

Who will be the 1 in 8?

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“I knew I had to live to tell my story.” Telling her story – a fight against Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, or TNBC – is what Tracey Neldare does a lot these days. At 54 years old, Tracey is two years cancer free. Her personal story at last month’s Untie the Ribbons event, hosted by Mary […]

Beyond Treatment: The Care Continues…

Eggie Salon

This time last year, Janet Daigle’s life changed with a Stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis, marking the second time she would face a battle with the disease. Almost immediately, she began treatment with a team of experts, led by William Varnado, M.D., medical oncologist. The two quickly formed a very close bond. “Dr. Varnado, particularly, […]

Support Services Help Patients Find Footing

Houma Location

“I was afraid that was the best I was ever going to be – using a cane or pushing a walker – and that devastated me.” While undergoing chemotherapy at Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Barbara Toups noticed tingling in her feet that she described as the feeling of […]

The Courage of Creativity

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It was the continuous series of sharp, shooting pains that artist Stacey Pelas experienced in 2018 which led to the detection of a grapefruit sized tumor in December of that year. As diagnoses go, this one was serious: Pelas had Stage 3 ovarian cancer; surgery was not only necessary, it needed to happen immediately. After […]

A Gamechanger: Care Closer to Home

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Shortly after Mary Bird Perkins announced the addition of infusion and chemotherapy services at its Gonzales location in May, Bryan Lee became the first patient to take advantage of these additional services. The 25-year St. Amant resident was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2021 and underwent surgery to remove the malignant organ. Following the procedure, […]

A Patient’s Dilemma Led to Lifesaving Care in the Community


John Baker quite literally lives a stone’s throw away from Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Natchez. Passing it an endless number of times over the years, it never occurred to him that he might one day rely on the care the southwest Mississippi location provides. “I believe I got as good of care there […]

An Unexpected Diagnosis with an Outcome to Match

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According to the National Cancer Institute, the rate of colorectal cancer among adults younger than 50 has steadily risen over the last three decades. In July 2021, John Chisholm, then 39, had no idea. “It never crossed my mind that I’d have cancer at all,” John says. Last summer, John and his wife, Yvette, couldn’t […]

Recipe for Recovery: Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Cancer Patients

Dominique Schexnayder

Houma native Dominique Schexnayder is a mother of three, a chef and certified sommelier, and a restaurant proprietor. Now she’s also a breast cancer survivor, thanks to the team at Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. When she was nine months pregnant with the last of her three children, Dominique Schexnayder discovered a […]

Living with Lymphedema: Shirley Melancon’s Journey


Shirley Melancon began her journey with Terrebonne General | Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center during her fight against breast cancer in 2018. After her diagnosis, she immediately began her treatment plan with a lumpectomy in January to remove cancerous tissue. Once recovered from her surgery, Shirley went through 15 rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds […]

The Bell Rings for Survivorship, Celebrating First Treatment Completed at New Location

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Multi-colored confetti covered the floor. “Celebration” played from a karaoke microphone. The impromptu party playing out at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s newest treatment location inside Baton Rouge General’s Pennington Cancer Center was indeed a celebration – the first of its kind since the Cancer Center and BRG announced a collaboration last year. In the […]