Survivor of the Week: Darcy S.

When Darcy S. first found out she had breast cancer, she had a reaction that most people would have when they hear that have cancer: her heart stood still. She was scared and couldn't stop crying. While in the midst of trying to figure out her plan, she received an email from an old classmate saying that she oddly heard a woman's voice saying, "Gladys says Darcy will be fine."  

She said that this continued all day that she couldn’t even sleep because the woman was so relentless, saying the same thing over and over again, "Gladys says Darcy will be fine." When she woke up the next morning, she felt the need to reach out to the only Darcy she knew to let her know what she had heard. In her email she said, "If you think I'm nuts just tell me, but if this makes sense, I'd be curious to find out what it means."

Darcy knew exactly what it meant. Her mother, who died from breast cancer, was named Gladys. This was the best message Darcy had ever received, and Gladys was right, Darcy is fine. She underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. Thankfully, the cancer did not spread and she did not have to go through chemotherapy or radiation.

When were you diagnosed?
Feb. 2009

Are you cancer-free? If so, for how long?
Yes, 4 1/2 years

How have your family and friends helped you?
They had my name put on every church prayer list in town! I definitely believe in the power of prayer!!

What tips do you have to help other breast cancer survivors stay positive?
Take each day at a time. Know that every day will be better than the day before, and to maintain your sense of humor!

What has someone done to make you feel better?
A substitute teacher friend of mine offered to teach my classroom of 1st-graders while I was off having my surgery and reconstruction. She told me not to worry about my students or lesson plans. She told me to just focus on getting well!!

What advice would you give someone who is about to go through treatment?
Take charge of your own health! Read about the different options. (Knowledge is power.) Weigh all the options, and then you (not a doctor) should decide what's best for YOU!!

What was the scariest moment?
Being told I had breast cancer.

What was the funniest moment?
After my bilateral (double) mastectomy and reconstruction, walking in to my oncologist's office wearing a T-shirt that said, "HELL YES, THEY'RE FAKE, THE REAL ONES TRIED TO KILL ME!" Everyone in the office thought it was hysterical!

How has breast cancer made you stronger?
It's allowed me to share my story and knowledge with other women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Our local breast cancer center (as well as friends) often calls me to talk to someone because of my positive attitude.