A tough journey through breast cancer treatment has helped one local woman be a friend to lean on for other other women stricken with the disease.
Marsha Elliott was diagnosed in November 2009 at Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center following a routine mammogram. After her exam showed a suspicious shape, she had an ultrasound and a biopsy of a small tumor the size of a navy bean in her breast. The biopsy’s result was inconclusive, so she opted to have a lumpectomy to remove the mass
At her next doctor’s appointment, she quickly realized things hadn’t gone well.
“I could tell from his face something was wrong,” Elliott said.
She was no stranger to breast cancer because her mother had been diagnosed with the disease just five months before. Her mother went through a double mastectomy and other treatments.
In early January, Elliott started her chemotherapy. She had a round every three weeks, which ended in March 2010. Next, she had a radiation treatment every day for a total of 38 rounds until the end of May.
“I was blessed that I was never sick for one moment,” Elliott said, adding she did sometimes feel tired and worked to take care of herself.
Her husband, Joe, and her children – two boys who were 10 and 12 at the time – also were major sources of strength as were her family and friends.
Elliott is the technology and communications manager at First Baptist Church on the Eastern Bypass. She kept herself busy during her treatments with child rearing and her job, which she missed for only half a day while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
Elliott’s cancer is now in remission, but she has checkups every three to four months with her doctors. This will continue for another two years.
Elliott said being diagnosed with cancer at 44 gave her a younger person’s perspective on managing the illness along with raising children and pursuing a career. This has movtivated her to reach out to women in their 30s and 40s who also are experiencing similar challenges, including several of her friends who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I was going through it to help someone else,” Elliott said. “... It helps when you have someone your own age to talk to. I walked it before them so I could help them.”
Elliott credits the Madison County Breast Cancer Support Group for helping her get through those first few years of life after diagnosis. She doesn’t attend it meetings as regularly now because of her family and work responsibilities, but she encourages other women to attend the group for support.
For more information about the support group, call Arlayne Francis at 623-4601.
Surviving cancer has definitely changed Elliott’s outlook on life.
“You don’t take a day for granted,” Elliott said. “You look at things differently when (the doctors) walk in and tell you that you have cancer.”
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.
- Lifestyles & Community
County’s oldest consignment sale begins today
The Little Ones’ Consignment Sale, Madison County’s oldest semi-annual sale of its kind, is open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Friday) and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the multi-ministry center behind United Methodist Church, West Main Street, Richmond. Marked items are half price on Saturday.
There’s more to do at the Village Trough
“I wish there was more to do here.”
Do you ever find yourself saying this sentence as you sit there bored out of your mind? Have you heard others ask it?
Well, there is something more to do now that Village Trough in Berea is staging shows with local and regional talent and preparing to open as a full dining and entertainment venue.
Let’s have a Mardi Gras party in Kentucky
It’s the time of year when the people in New Orleans celebrate a festival called Mardi Gras. Many states now do the same. Some call it “Fat Tuesday” which I have never understood till I went to New Orleans (five times) and saw all of the excitement for myself.
Beat the winter blues with meatballs
When it’s this cold outside it’s nice to warm up with some good comfort food.
I can think of few things more wonderful than the smell of simmering meatballs coming from the kitchen while I cuddle with my two young children, and a few good books, on a brisk winter day.
Taste test Thursday
The sun is shining, but the chill has returned, so I hope you made the most of the warm, sunny weather this weekend.
The spring greens are being as tentative as the warm temperatures, but there is talk of lettuce being harvested and a continued trickle of kale, pea shoots, miner’s lettuce and spinach. To make room for the spring harvests, winter squash and sweet potatoes have been marked down to $1/pound and pumpkins are only 50 cents/pound.
Buttercups in grazed pastures
One of the signs that spring has arrived is when the yellow flowers of buttercup begin to appear, but it’s during the winter months that the vegetative growth of buttercup takes place.
As a cool season weed, this plant often flourishes in overgrazed pasture fields with poor stands of desirable forages. In fact, many fields that have dense buttercup populations are fields heavily grazed by animals during the fall through the early spring months.
Make a difference this summer, volunteer at 4-H Camp
On June 30 more than 200 Madison County kids will load a bus headed for four days and three nights of fun at 4-H Summer Camp.
Campers will have a chance to hike, swim, dance and spend time learning about the environment, their friends and themselves.
And we need your help to make it possible!
A whole lot going on
Downtown Richmond Farmers Market opening
The new Downtown Richmond Farmers Market officially opens Saturday.
This market will set up in downtown Richmond on North First Street between Main and Irvine streets Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (weather permitting).
For more details, go to www.downtownrichmndfarmersmarket.com. There you will find an events calendar and how to sign up for workshops that will be conducted at the market.
A Visit with a bell-The Dinner Bell Restaurant in Berea
I have wanted for some time to visit and interview people and food establishments here in Madison County and surrounding areas that you may have not gotten a chance to visit. \
I chose the Dinner Bell in Berea for my column this week.
Extension celebrates 100 years of nutrition education
For the past 100 years, families in Kentucky have looked to the Cooperative Extension Service to learn better ways to be healthy.
- More Lifestyles & Community Headlines
- County’s oldest consignment sale begins today