The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

October 9, 2013

Cancer survivor provides support for others juggling careers, family and treatment


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 or 624-6694.


Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • Brandon-Sears-c.jpg Beef Cattle Association field day is Thursday

    Make plans to attend the Madison County Beef Cattle Association field day on Thursday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event will take place at the farm of Dr. Eugene Bowling, 1437 Barnes Mill Road in Richmond. Signs will be posted.
    This meeting qualifies as a CAIP educational component.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04.23 JessaTurner1.jpg Eat local and eat with the seasons

    This week marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, and what could be more important to our survival than clean air, clean water and clean food?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amanda-Sears-c.jpg Proper care enables planting of Easter lilies

    Did you receive or purchase an Easter lily? If so, be sure to treat it right and you will be able to plant it outside this spring.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lisa Adams.jpg 4-H Camping Season Nears

    Hopefully, we have seen the last of the snow for the year, so now is the time for young people and their parents to begin making plans for an annual summer ritual, 4-H Camp.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg These things cause me concern for the future

    I was just thinking the other day about things that are happening in this country that do not bode well for the future.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WP_20140419_001.jpg Cruisin’ with the Oldies

    With the sound of classic songs wafting through the air Saturday, hundreds of people took advantage of the summer-like temperatures and turned out for the Kirksville Community Center car show.

    April 21, 2014 9 Photos

  • 04.18 Food .jpg It’s egg party time

    I love this time of the year because eggs really do go down in price during the Easter season. I have some new recipes on how to fix eggs besides the coloring part.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 04.18 Steaks.jpg Where’s the beef?

    Today, the American consumer has more money to spend on the widest variety of foods than at any other time in our history.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg We old folks have unique experiences

    A friend sent this to me by e-mail, and I thought my readers would enjoy it.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results