Ashley’s Got Some Good News This Time, Claremore!

Hey, Claremore! Remember back in February when I shared the news of my breast cancer diagnosis? Well, I thought it was time y’all deserved an update.

I was scheduled for surgery in mid-March. In the meantime, we discovered that one of my paternal aunts tested positive for the breast cancer gene. The doctors decided to postpone surgery so I could get tested, which would ultimately decide on how radical my surgery would be. After a long and nerve-wracking wait, I got a NEGATIVE result, which means that I don’t have the gene; basically my chances of getting breast cancer are no greater than anyone else’s. (There is still the mystery of why it happened to me so early, but that’s an answer we’ll never have.)

Surgery was rescheduled for the middle of April. I had a few appointments with my oncologist, who was working with a lab to determine if I need to do chemotherapy or not. (I’m still waiting on that.) I was told to proceed with my radiation treatment, which I started in June.

And on July 31, after 30 daily treatments, I FINISHED! The best part of it all, besides the whole “no more daily appointments” and “no more fried skin” was that my amazing friends had a surprise party for me in the parking lot outside the cancer center. Basically I got to cry in front of a slew of people. I have never felt so lucky and loved than in that moment. Special shout out to Miss Allison Burkhead for arranging it! Huge thanks to my entire village for standing beside me as I made this walk. There’s no way I can name everyone!

If you or someone you know is affected by cancer and is facing radiation treatment, I HIGHLY suggest you look into Northeastern Oklahoma Cancer Institute. It just opened in June; I wasn’t the first person to complete treatment but I was the first one to ring the brand-new bell. The physicians are Dr. Terry Styles and Dr. Diane Heaton; both women are knowledgeable, professional, and incredibly easy to talk to. The staff was top-notch; I really felt that we all became friends after seeing each other daily for six weeks. The technology available is state-of-the-art; it’s one of only four machines like it in the country, after San Diego, UPenn, and MD Anderson. That’s pretty incredible to have it here in Claremore!

Thanks to all of our readers who have sent messages and more throughout this process. You are so appreciated! I’ll keep everyone updated in case there’s more! (Let’s pray there’s not, shall we?)

-MCM Staffer Ashley,
who’s reminding you 
to get your mammograms! 

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