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
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

October 31, 2014 11788

Son Charged with Murder of His Family, Kidnapping

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Dennis Thomas
October 27, 2014 6304

Earlington Woman Charged With Burglary for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 29, 2014 5102

Central City Businessman Indicted by Grand Jury…

in Top News For All Sites by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 29, 2014 4851

UPDATE: Two More Arrested for Meth at Area Motel

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
October 28, 2014 4560

UPDATE: 'Runner' Ran Home; Family Happy

in Hopkins News by Lisa Crook
October 27, 2014 4506

Baptist Health Madisonville Performs Baptist…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
October 31, 2014 4089

UPDATE: Names Released: Three Injured When Pickup…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 28, 2014 3836

UPDATE: Extended to Wednesday; Heaven's Gates and…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 28, 2014 3775

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Hopkins News by Karen McKnight
October 27, 2014 3526

Woman Charged for Domestic Assault with Scissors,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

October 31, 2014 11788

Son Charged with Murder of His Family, Kidnapping

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Dennis Thomas
October 31, 2014 4089

UPDATE: Names Released: Three Injured When Pickup…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 31, 2014 2292

Top Race Candidates Address Campaign Issues

in Hopkins News by SurfKY News
October 31, 2014 1522

Family Searching for Jake

in Hopkins News by Keith Curneal
October 31, 2014 1140

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Barry Franklin
October 31, 2014 1078

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 31, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 31, 2014 1020

Four Members of Muhlenberg EMS Team Awarded…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 31, 2014 969

Change in Hours for Baptist Health Care Center Go…

in General News For All Sites by Kristy J. Quinn
October 31, 2014 909

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 31, 2014 583

Large Crowd Turns Out for Annual Kiwanis BBQ

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

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