October 21, 2008 is a day Tracy, of Columbus, won’t soon forget: it’s the day she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Tracy, 46, had just turned a new page in her life, starting a new job as a building surveyor at a local hospital. At the end of a great first week at work, life took Tracy on a different course when she found a lump during a routine breast self-exam.
After a mammogram and needle biopsy, Tracy’s gynecologist diagnosed her with invasive carcinoma and referred her to The James, where she enrolled for treatment with Dr. William Carson, Dr. Rachel Layman and Dr. Stephen Povoski.
“At that moment, I felt like The James was the perfect place for me because I would have access to physicians who are part of groundbreaking research discoveries,” Tracy says.
Tracy’s treatment began with a mastectomy in December 2008 and continued in February 2009 with a chemotherapy clinical trial.
For Tracy, it was important to get as much information as she possibly could about her diagnosis, which was and is readily available from her team of physicians at The James.
“My physicians continue to provide me with the information I need to make informed decisions,” Tracy says. “Throughout this clinical trial I’m continually amazed by the number of approaches there are to this one disease,” she says.
In addition to the great care she’s received so far from her team at The James, Tracy attributes her husband and five children as her biggest source of strength.
“My 13 and 15-year-old daughters have been terrific through this journey,” Tracy says. “When I first started losing my hair, the three of us cut our hair short and my girls dyed their hair pink and black. When I lost all of my hair, we all shaved our heads, and I buzzed a ribbon into the back of my head and dyed it pink. It’s been really fun having them be part of it.”
Tracy recently completed her last round of chemotherapy and continues to follow up with her care team at The James.
Follow Tracy’s survivor journey on Facebook and Twitter.