At Dr. Stucky’s office October marks many things to celebrate we have National Hygiene Awareness month, Halloween, our hygienist Eugenia will be celebrating her 10 year anniversary with us, Jan will be with us 19 years, but October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month. This is something that has hit us too close to home here at Dr. Stucky’s office. Our receptionist Jan will be celebrating her fifth year in remission. In celebration we have asked her to share her brave story and her thoughts along her journey.
According to cancer.org, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. They further cite that about 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2015 are:
- About 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
- About 60,290 new cases of carcinoma in will be diagnosed.
- About 40,290 women will die from breast cancer…”
We would also like to like to remind everyone that breast cancer does not discriminate:
- In 2015 about 2,350 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed.
- About 440 men will die from breast cancer.
Five Years Later
By Jan Vert
After my annual checkup in the fall of 2010, I received the call that would change my life. On November 17, 2010, my doctor called and confirmed I had stage II breast cancer. This call was even harder because the week before we had to put our beloved chocolate lab, Luke to sleep (he had become really sick with no cure). We planned a quick trip to California to talk to family and friends in person, not knowing when and if I would make another visit.
Upon our return from California, my family and I got busy making the initial appointments with my surgeons. With the unrelenting support from my husband and two daughters, several consultations, scans etc., my surgery was scheduled for January 25, 2011. We made the conscious decision to choose this date, because we already had a trip to Hawaii planned with my office for continuing education conference in early January. It was a nice break before my family got preoccupied with my treatments.
After the initial surgery, I started the chemotherapy on March 1, 2011. I had six grueling sessions, three weeks apart. I was thankful to Dr. Stucky and my wonderful co-workers for letting me continue to work during my treatments. On day sixteen after my first chemo treatment my hair started to come out. It was scary because you don’t know what is under your hair. The day it started coming out was really hard, a tear-jerker, and I had the whole office crying. My husband shaved my remaining hair that weekend.
I finished my chemo the end of June of 2011. I had another surgery in July and then started my radiation sessions in September, which were five days a week for five weeks. That year I had a total of 83 appointments. Thankful for the support of my husband, family and coworkers I am now five years out and doing great!
Jan tells her story in stride as if it was a normal part of her past life. She talks about her story with a smile and continues to be a true inspiration to those of us who come to work in a less than pleasurable mood or complains about a minor ailment. We will end her story with a quote she has on her locker in the office that says, “Life is a gift. Never forget to enjoy and bask in every moment you are in.”- Unknown