September 7, 2019, is a day Sherry Edon will never forget. That was the day Sherry, who works in nutritional services at Hancock Regional Hospital, received her Stage 0 breast cancer diagnosis — ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
Within 30 minutes of Sherry’s initial mammogram, the staff at James T. Anderson, M.D., Center for Women’s Health ordered a 3D mammogram for a closer look. The nurse practitioner who gave Sherry her diagnosis quickly called Hancock’s renowned breast surgeon Dr. Timothy Goedde about scheduling Sherry’s surgery. But Dr. Goedde was on vacation for another week.
“The nurses saw that I was anxious about waiting,” Sherry said. “So, they set up a meeting with oncologist Dr. Julia Compton, who assured me that the cancer wouldn’t spread that quickly.”
Dr. Compton also shared Sherry’s fears and anxieties with Dr. Goedde: “He texted me, telling me that I was going to be okay,” Sherry said, fighting back tears. “He said he would meet with me right when he got back. It really meant a lot to me.”
Radiation began as soon as Sherry healed from her biopsy. She remembers crying when she first saw the bed that was waiting for her in the radiation room. A friend gave Sherry a wooden cross when she learned of her diagnosis. “I held it so tight during radiation that I could hardly let go when it was over,” Sherry said.
Sherry credits her family for giving her strength throughout her treatment. “The day of my biopsy,” she said, “my daughter Caitlin met me there with shirts that said ‘Stronger with cancer’ and ‘I walk for my mom.’ My children are my biggest supporters.”
Sherry says it has been smooth sailing since her surgery. Her pathology report came back negative.
“I live life to the fullest,” she said of her post-treatment outlook. “I thank God each day.”
And she encourages others her age to make sure they do everything they can to have that same opportunity. She nearly missed hers.
“I had accidentally skipped my appointment the year before,” she said. If friends hadn’t pushed me, I may not have gone for another year, and the cancer might have spread.
“Don’t delay the mammogram.”
To schedule your mammogram, contact the James T. Anderson, M.D., Center for Women’s Health by calling (317) 468-6235.