COVID -19 has stopped many things this year but it has not stopped breast cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, around 250,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and approximately 42,000 deaths. For this reason, survivors such as Richmond Hill resident Betsy Hoover, are sharing their stories to raise awareness with the hope of saving lives.
Hoover and her family were living in Ohio when her husband Greg’s job at CSX transferred them to Richmond Hill in 1999. After the move, she began work at Memorial Health as an RN, Assistant Nurse Manager on the Pediatric Hematology Oncology unit.
After getting settled into her new hometown and having a successful career things changed drastically.
“I was diagnosed at age 51, in 2006 with Stage II early stage breast cancer. It was found during my yearly mammogram. I could not have found it myself, it was on my chest wall. The cancer was in 5 out of 10 lymph nodes.” said Hoover.
Chemotherapy was used to treat the breast cancer which caused her to have side effects like nausea, vomiting and fatigue. However, Hoover continued to work as much as she could and had plenty of support from loved ones.
“My husband, Greg, was so helpful. He helped with the meals, laundry and was my rock during this difficult time. All our family lived in Ohio, my mother came down a few times and went to treatment with me and helped around the house.”
Hoovers Memorial Health colleagues also played a major role while she was in treatment. “They brought me meals, visited with me, donated vacation days, brought gifts, flowers, books and I received lots of cards of encouragement, for which I am forever grateful.”
Today, Hoover is 14 years cancer free and living her best life. Not only did she participate in a Susan G. Komen Coastal Georgia Race For The Cure last year, she also has plenty of other interests. “I’m learning to quilt. I love working in my yard, riding my bike, walking and traveling”.
She also encourages women to stay proactive in their health. “It is so important to get a yearly mammogram. It is much easier to treat in the early stages. Statistically 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer. With early detection, breast cancer can be treated before it causes any symptoms. Mammograms are relatively cheap, widely available and very accurate.”
For more information about mammograms consult with your doctor.