The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

October 24, 2013

Breast cancer doesn't stop Normal mother


"I didn't do breast self exams," she admitted. "I thought I was too young.

"But an angel must have been there because that night, I did it." She detected a walnut-size lump in her right breast.

"It didn't feel right," she said, so she called her obstetrician-gynecologist who did an exam and ordered an ultrasound.

When a solid mass was detected, she had a mammogram, then a biopsy. "A half-hour appointment became an all-day affair," she said.

Then she got the call from her doctor saying, "Sorry to tell you this but it's cancer."

"I broke down and cried. A year before, I saw my mom die of cancer.

"I was Cloud 9 to Ground Zero. We had been celebrating my new job (at Country Financial) and the fact that I was going to be making more money and had (health) insurance."

Ed said, "My job is to keep her safe and there's nothing I could have done to protect her from this. I couldn't go through the treatments for her, but I told her, 'Whatever you need, I'm there."

"I wanted it out as fast as possible," Molly said. She had a lumpectomy — the removal of the tumor and some of the normal tissue surrounding it.

"I thought they'd pull it out and I'll be done." But some cancer had traveled to the lymph nodes in her right arm pit. She met with an oncologist who recommended a six-month regimen of chemotherapy.

"That was devastating to me," she said. "I didn't want to lose my hair and I had just started a new job."

Every third Friday for six months, Molly went to the CommunityCancerCenter in Normal from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for chemo. Side effects included nausea, body aches, fatigue and hair loss. Ed shaved his head in support.

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