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Monday, October 28, 2013

Street Class: Memory Lane's Breast Cancer Warrior

October will soon be coming to a close, which also means that Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be wrapping up. However, just because October is almost over does not mean that it's time to stop supporting Breast Cancer awareness. 

Statistics show that one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. As of 2013, there are 2.8 million women in the United States with a history of breast cancer. This number includes those currently undergoing treatment. Ft. Thomas resident Tammy Schroder is one of those 2.8 million women in America. Schroder moved to Memory Lane with her husband and three children in 1996, and was nice enough to share her story with Fort Thomas Matters while recovering from surgery. 

Schroder was first diagnosed with breast cancer on March 15, 2013 after having her routine mammogram. "I had some calcifications in my breasts that my doctor was watching. These calcifications can be precancerous. My calcifications had changed and a biopsy was ordered. The findings from my biopsy were something neither the doctor or I expected. Cancer was found, however it was not from the calcifications changing. 15% of breast cancer cannot be detected on a mammogram. My cancer falls into that 15%," said Schroder. 

After her diagnosis, Schroder began her battle with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery on May 14, 2013. From July 14th until September 27th, Schroder underwent chemotherapy treatments. The second phase of her reconstruction was completed on October 14th, and she will now begin radiation on November 12th. Her radiation treatments will take place five times a week over a five week period. 

Schroder recalls the moment when she was told about her condition. "When you hear the word 'cancer' and your name in the same sentence your whole world stops," said Schroder. "It teaches you to not sweat the small stuff, enjoy each day and to trust God." 

With staggering statistics showing the abundance of breast cancer throughout the United States, our town is certainly not immune to this disease. Schroder offers her own insight into how to take on the challenge of fighting breast cancer. "My best advice to anyone going through breast cancer is to find the best team of doctors, and accept help from people," said Schroder. She credits her own support system for helping her stay strong throughout her treatment. "My family and friends have been amazing! And this town has been amazing," said Schroder. "I have received over 400 cards and notes. Not to mention the meals, flowers, and gifts." 

When speaking with Schroder, her positivity is infectious. Her ability to find a silver lining in the midst of her cancer treatments is certainly inspiring. "I would never wish cancer on anyone, however, the love I have felt is something everyone should feel in their lifetime. I am so blessed," said Schroder. 

Schroder is still in the midst of her breast cancer battle, but is ready to take on the next phase of treatments. When asked about her future, there's one thing she's certain we can expect from her. "I think it will be covered in a lot of pink," said Schroder. 

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