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.

In Other News...

Madisonville City Council Meeting

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/17/14) — The Madisonville City Council approved the city's property tax rate on second reading at… Read More

Following a Dream One Click at a Time

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (9/16/14) — What started out accidental, led photographer Shelby Waltz into something she never… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 15, 2014 4363

Man Accused of Stealing Rural King…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 15, 2014 4249

Man Accused of Stalking Woman During Her…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 13, 2014 3778

MPD Responds to a Disturbance at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 16, 2014 2789

Postal Worker Arrested for Terroristic…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 15, 2014 2120

Man Arrested for DUI, Carrying Concealed…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 13, 2014 3778

MPD Responds to a Disturbance at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 15, 2014 2120

Man Arrested for DUI, Carrying Concealed…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 15, 2014 2011

Man Arrested for Being Under Influence of…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 16, 2014 507

Dawson Springs Police Chief to Retire on…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 13, 2014 461

Quilt Exhibit Reception Sept. 14

in Top Stories by Chris Wilson

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

September 13, 2014 1542

The Gift of Aging Oct. 16

in News by Jennifer Kaminski
September 13, 2014 1535

Audubon Bon Harbor Area Alliance to Host…

in News by Abby Shelton
September 13, 2014 1509

Dogwood Azalea Neighborhood Alliance to…

in News by Abby Shelton
September 13, 2014 1244

Wesleyan Shawnee Neighborhood Alliance to…

in News by Abby Shelton
September 15, 2014 840

Owensboro Convention Center Announces…

in News by Madison Strobel

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 15, 2014 4363

Man Accused of Stealing Rural King…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 15, 2014 4249

Man Accused of Stalking Woman During Her…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 16, 2014 2789

Postal Worker Arrested for Terroristic…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 14, 2014 1838

Three Injured in Single-Car Collision

in Top Stories by Robert LIttlepage
September 13, 2014 1606

Local Author Signs Copies of Her New Book

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


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

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06