Commonwealth Document Management (CDM) is taking up the cause to promote and support Breast Cancer Awareness in the month of October.
CDM is planning to donate a portion of the proceeds from all purge service jobs done in the month of October to the Danville Cancer Association.
The donation is being made in honor of one of our long term Commonwealth Home Health Care staff members, Robin Chenery.
Robin, (CHHC’s Purchasing Manager), is a breast cancer survivor! She has made candy jars with the breast cancer awareness logo we will deliver to our CDM customers throughout the month of October as a reminder to all ladies to get their annual mammograms (pictured above).
Please read Robin’s hearfelt story, journey and message below.
By Robin Chenery
Three little words changed my life….”you have cancer”.
While so much of that August day in 1986 was a blur, I do remember sitting in an office at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC and a young surgeon coming in and sitting down, looking sad and saying, “I’m sorry, you have breast cancer.”
My first emotion was denial. I was only 28 years old. “I can’t have breast cancer, I have a 15 month old daughter to raise.” He then asked me if I wanted to see my daughter enter kindergarten. I of course said yes. He said” if we don’t do surgery, you will not live to see that day.” Those are the only words I remember all these years later. My second emotion was death and my third emotion was absolute fear and numbness. This was only a routine doctor’s visit and a routine mammogram.
I had Introductile Carcinoma with an Infiltrating factor. This meant it was aggressive and I was young so it was even more aggressive. Six (6) days later I was in surgery and had a Modified Radical Mastectomy. This was followed by six (6) weeks of daily radiation and one (1) year of chemotherapy. I was diagnosed with Stage II with a possibility of Stage III. After my surgery I was told it was Stage III going into Stage IV. If left untreated or not found when it was, would surely have metastasized to other parts of my body and killed me within 3 years.
Yes, it was awful. Yes, chemotherapy made me very sick. Yes I lost my hair. It was the most miserable year of my life. But on the other hand, the poison was out of me! With therapy and routine visits for the rest of my life, I have been able to watch my precious 15 month old daughter Elizabeth grow up to become the fabulous 28 year old woman she is today. I am a cancer survivor of 27 years!
One in eight women will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer every year. Many such as myself (85%) do not have a family history and most women find the lump themselves. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women between the ages of 40 and 55.
Sadly, every 2 minutes there is a new breast cancer diagnosis and every 14 minutes a life is lost to this disease. Over 400,000 people will die this year with 400 of those being men.
Over $10 billion is spent each year in the United States on the treatment of breast cancer.
With advances in medicine and technology, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) spent over $602 million in research to help find a cure for this disease. We need to spend more on research and hopefully that will hopefully lead to less on treatment for everyone.
Today, the diagnosis of breast cancer is not the “death sentence”it used to be. Take care of yourself, get mammograms every year, do self breast exams and if you are unfortunate enough to get this disease FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!