The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

October 31, 2013

Woman shares details of cancer

FREEPORT, Ill. — Not one to go see her doctor unless she is sick, Jane Miller, 80, of Rock City saw her life change in May 2012 when she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. The news caught her off guard.

It was a regular checkup with her doctor that prompted her to have a mammogram. She had let the screening go for several years.

“I have no good reason, I just kept putting it off,” Miller said. “The nurse questioned me, they scheduled the appointment. I had no worries.”

The screening showed a suspicious lump. The biopsy on the left breast tested positive for an invasive type of breast cancer. Miller was given her options. She had a lumpectomy. Her lymph nodes were clear. She did not have to have chemotherapy. Radiation lasted five weeks.

“I feel fortunate and my first thought was I was thankful it wasn’t my daughter or granddaughter,” she said. “I just didn’t see it as a big deal. I didn’t stress about it. I healed quickly.”

Miller said at her age, she “knew things would be as they would be.” Had she been younger with small children, Miller may have handled it differently, she said.

She never said, “why me?” She said because of her age, she didn’t have fear. Her positive attitude, the support of her husband, Russell, and that of her children kept her going.

“I had no family history. Most people in my family lived to be a good age, so when I found out I had cancer, I was surprised, but I was aggravated with myself for letting my mammograms lapse. It was a lesson learned. I tell everyone, don’t be like me. Get tested,” she said.

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