Mother and Daughter – Both 21 Year Survivors!

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 21 years ago.  I was 40 years old and my daughter was only 10 years old.  I began chemotherapy within 12 days of seeing my primary care doctor for a lump in my breast and lumps under my arm.  Once I received chemotherapy my tumor stopped growing and then began to disappear.  By the time I finished all my chemo (a few bumps along the way), I had surgery and all the cancer was gone!  Then I did radiation therapy and participated in a clinical trial in Seattle Washington, to keep the cancer from coming back.  So grateful to science that I am still here and now 20 years later the type of breast cancer I had has even more therapies available.

My Mom is also a 21-year survivor of breast cancer.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 months after I was diagnosed.  While I was still receiving chemotherapy.  It was a shock.  Luckily her cancer was diagnosed at an earlier stage by a mammogram.  She had surgery and is doing great!

I have been running/walking in the Komen NC Triangle Race for the Cure since 1998, and I never miss it.  This year is much different being a virtual Race, but we are still in a fight against breast cancer.  I race to raise money to fund research to find cures for people living with metastatic breast cancer.  Metastatic breast cancer is when the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body.  Metastatic breast cancer is treatable but not curable.

I want to help find cures for metastatic breast cancer before any more of my friends, colleagues and fellow patient advocates die.  

Help Komen fund more research.  Donate to support science.

Patty Spears
Research Advocate
Komen NCTC Volunteer