ANTHEM, Ariz. – October is breast cancer awareness month. One Anthem woman is glad that she has made it through her year-long battle with the disease.
Wendy Waller is a single mother of four who works as an accounting specialist. In March 2014, her world changed. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.
“It was devastating,” Waller said. “It’s something that you never liked to hear. I never had any health problems (before that). I went to a couple of surgeons soon after my diagnosis, and I felt very helpless. And then I found CTCA.”
CTCA is the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a hospital located in Goodyear. She said that the 40-mile drive from her home to the hospital was worth it. All of the doctors that she needed were at the same location. They listened to her concerns about chemotherapy and agreed to treatments that would limit it as much as possible. The hospital has a chef that helped with her nutrition needs.
But she admits that it was a difficult road to treatment and recovery.
“Four rounds of chemotherapy, which I started in April,” Waller said. “That was followed by a double mastectomy, even though I only had cancer on the left side. That was followed with 18 herceptin treatments and 28 radiation treatments.” She also underwent a total of 8 surgeries in one year.
Waller is now cancer free, but does have doctor’s appointments to monitor her progress. She has some advice for other women who may be facing breast cancer.
“It’s so important to go in and be screened and get your mammograms,” she said. “I think you need to be your own advocate. Take part in your treatment and the things that you want done and you don’t want done. For me, nutrition helped a lot. Look at things that can help you with your treatment, nutrition-wise. Just find a really good place that’s going to help you. Lean on family…really lean on family. Don’t give up hope.”
Waller now says that she is looking forward to a long, happy, and healthy life.
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