April 24, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
52°F
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Facing cancer: Judy Reed, 65, Elyria

Her diagnosis: After a suspicious cyst on her breast just wouldn’t go away, Reed had a mammogram in June. She was told something didn’t seem right and was scheduled for a biopsy. “I was told I had cancer June 25; I’ll never forget the day,” she said. “I’ll never forget it because he (my doctor) said, ‘Judy, there is no use in me trying to explain anything to you because you are in shock, and you will not remember anything I tell you.’ And he was so right, because I could not tell you one thing that man said to me that day.”

Shockwaves: Reed said she was still in shock that evening. “My husband — he’s my rock —and I left the office and went out in the car. For awhile I sat there like, this isn’t true, this really is not happening to me. That was my worst night.”

Her surgery: On July 10, Reed had a mastectomy of the left breast. “I was very glad to have it done, and I’ve been very blessed with this for the fact that when they did the surgery, it was not in my lymph nodes,” Reed said. “We have so many people who pray for me and put me on prayer chains that by the time I went into surgery, it was like I wasn’t scared anymore. I was calm.” She said her niece from Dayton came and spent the week with her following her surgery, helping her recover.

Her treatment: After surgery, Reed was told that she didn’t have to have the standard, and often grueling, rounds of treatment involving chemotherapy or radiation. “I am taking Arimidex, and I have to take it for five years. That to me was a real blessing — I didn’t have to go get the chemo every three weeks,” she said.

Her advice to other women who sense that something isn’t right: “When you get your mammograms, and they tell you it’s a cyst, you make sure you follow up. I would tell any woman just be sure to follow up and go by your gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right, normally it isn’t. And just because (a lump or an area of the breast) is sore, like in my case, doesn’t mean it’s not cancer, because it was cancer. That’s a common misconception.”

Her outlook: While she is not the same woman she was before having breast cancer, Reed says she feels good about herself. “I’m doing great. I just thank God every day that it was caught and we got rid of it,” she said. “Faith is my big thing and knowing that it was caught early. Now, whether it will ever come back? I have no idea, but it’s not something that I sit and worry about.”

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Contact Chrissy Kadleck at 329-7155 or ckadleck@chroniclet.com.