This past August, Heptner Cancer Center Manager Leigh Worsley discovered she had breast cancer. At age 37 this was a huge surprise. Luckily she caught it early but due to its aggressive form she underwent chemotherapy first and will have surgery in early 2015. Leigh lives in Gillette with her two sons, Coleman (15) and Chase (10). Here are excerpts from her journal entries on her
Caring Bridge page during her chemo treatment:
I was diagnosed with breast cancer this week and I have a long road ahead of me. I’ve devoted the past 15 years of my career to helping cancer patients fight this battle and now I am going to see the other side. I’m ready to fight!
I had my first chemotherapy treatment and all went well. I have been tired and a little achy but didn’t get sick. The best way to describe it is that I just feel “blah.” I will have eight chemo sessions, one every 14 days.
I ran my fingers through my hair before my second chemo treatment and got handfuls. After two days of this I decided it was time to buzz it off.
Chemo #3 on the books! I am lucky to say that I haven’t had any nausea or vomiting at all and I’ve learned there are benefits to not having hair! The best is I get an extra 40 minutes of sleep every morning. I’ve continued working full time and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I’ve been able to avoid nausea for the most part. The “tired” part is the biggest obstacle for me. It’s definitely a different type of tired than what we normally think of as tired.
I spent my 38th birthday in a chair getting chemo—not my first choice for a “party” but hey. I am so lucky to have my wonderful cancer center staff and friends to take care of me during my treatments. They are all like family to me. Our community is fortunate to have such wonderful caretakers!
My last chemo treatment is on New Years Eve Day. It’s amazing how far side-effect management for chemo has come over the years. I remember patients in the past would lose their fingernails and toenails and have severe, permanent nerve damage as well as dealing with vomiting. I’m so grateful for modern medicine.
Now that I am on the patient side of things I see how much we do for patients. This cancer center has people who genuinely care and are in it for the right reasons.
You can read more about Leigh's fight, and cheer her on, at her CaringBridge page.