Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Breast Cancer Survivor Forming Support Group

stephanie cancerMADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/18/13) – At 32 years old, having a malignant breast tumor was believed to be a long shot. But after repeated examinations of a cyst over a three-year period by her OBGYN, Stephanie Oakley made an appointment with a surgeon because she was concerned about the lump in her right breast.
 
A mammogram revealed what the surgeon and Stephanie feared - cancer.
 
"The lump seemed to come and go," said Stephanie. "It was painful and seemed to flare up in between menstrual cycles. I trusted my OB but in the back of my mind, I didn't feel right."
 
With the diagnosis came, many of the traditional tests and treatments for breast cancer began - scans, blood tests, chemo, hair loss, surgery, more surgery and radiation, said Stephanie.
 
"I was 35 then and had no idea there was cancer growing in my body," she said. "I didn't think young people got breast cancer. I never knew anyone with breast cancer. Never in a million years would I think I had it."
 
The cancer was diagnosed as hormone positive invasive ductal carcinoma and a lumpectomy performed.
 
During the four-month round of chemo, Stephanie suffered a life-threatening jugular blood clot near the port used to deploy her medicines.
 
"I learned that blood clots are common around a port but most are superficial," said Stephanie. "Yet having it in a jugular vein is rare and very dangerous."
 
After the chemo, four lymph nodes were discovered to have cancer cells. Stephanie decided to see a surgeon at Vanderbilt to have her entire right breast removed.
 
In February 2012, Stephanie began having problems with her left leg. A PET scan revealed a spot but further tests were inconclusive.
 
"I dealt with it until I finally asked for additional tests," said Stephanie. "I had a bone scan in April 2012 that showed a possible recurrence of my breast cancer, but again, no imaging supported this."
 
Stephanie said all her doctors believed the problems to be caused by arthritis but she insisted on having an MRI. In June 2012, an MRI confirmed that a tumor had damaged her femur enough to cause a fracture. A biopsy revealed it was metastatic breast cancer that had spread.
 
"Even after the breast surgery, blood cloths and chemotherapy, I would not wish orthopedic surgery on my worst enemy," said Stephanie.
 
After the tumor was removed from the femur, a titanium rod was inserted from Stephanie's hip to knee.
 
Stephanie has since had her left breast removed, her ovaries removed and takes a hormone blocker to reduce the chance of feeding other possible tumors. She also has six-week injections of medications to strengthen her bones and help protect them from the cancer cells.
 
After several rounds of scans, there has been no evidence of metastatic recurrence, said Stephanie.
 
"I call myself cancer free on a daily basis," she said. "Through my cancer journey, as I was fighting to live, God taught me how to live. He taught me that in this world, there always will be negative obstacles and trials. He also taught me that I can choose to overcome those obstacles or they will overcome me. Jesus has already overcome the world, so every day I have a choice to do the same."
 
During her journey from diagnosis to now, Stephanie said she felt a little uncomfortable about talking to others in public about her struggles. She has since accepted that she cannot encourage others if she's not willing to share her experiences with others.
 
She has formed a Breast Cancer Support Group in Madisonville and will host its first meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23 at Baptist Health Women's Center on 800 Hospital Drive, Madisonville. All survivors and caregivers are welcome.
 
Two special speakers - massage therapist Connie Argier, who will talk about the benefit of massage therapy during chemo and after mastectomies; and, a Plexus Worldwide representative demonstrating the Plexus pink breast check kit.
 
Another message Stephanie wants to spread is that breast cancer can affect younger women and that research and early detection are critical in women's health.
 
Stephanie has been employed at Baptist Health for 16 years; is married to Chris Oakley; and they have two daughters, Megan, 9, and Gracie, 12.
 
Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
button coupons
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
button classifieds
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

December 16, 2014 10768

Coal Miner Fatally Injured in Underground Mining…

in Top News For All Sites by Dick Brown
December 17, 2014 7690

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 6814

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 5130

Hopkins County Woman Charged Second Time in Two…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 15, 2014 4580

Woman Leads Police on High-Speed Chase in Stolen…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police
December 19, 2014 4487

Dawson Springs Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Detective Sean McCance
December 19, 2014 4470

Armstrong Mine to Layoff 39 by End of Day

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
December 18, 2014 4173

Cat Scratching over Dog Ownership Escalates

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 19, 2014 4040

Woman Flown to St. Mary's after Two-Car Collision

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 16, 2014 3966

Highway Crews Pre-Treating Roadways for Potential…

in Hopkins News by Keith Todd

Stories Trending Today

December 19, 2014 3370

Vehicle Fire Causes Traffic Back-Up on Pennyrile

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 20, 2014 1507

KET’s Kentucky Life Segment to Feature Old…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 19, 2014 1493

Greenville Mayor Honored during Final Council…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 20, 2014 1273

New Trial Sites Added for U of L's Brown Cancer…

in General News For All Sites by Health Sciences News
December 20, 2014 1191

Farmers' Markets, Vendors; Sign Up for Free…

in General News For All Sites by Ted Sloan
December 20, 2014 1150

'When the Universe Was Young' Opens Jan. 4 at…

in General News For All Sites by WKU News
December 20, 2014 1138

WKU Public Affairs Claims 17 Statewide Awards

in General News For All Sites by WKU News
December 20, 2014 1128

Law Enforcement Officers, Agencies Honored for…

in General News For All Sites by Erin Eggen
December 20, 2014 1113

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 20, 2014 1082

City of Madisonville Holiday Schedule

in Hopkins News by Leslie Curneal

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss