Irene Hawley, admiral of the Pink Ribbonetts and a adept of blight survival, will anon be adulatory two decades of assault the allowance aback she was aboriginal diagnosed with cancer.
Born in Aiken, Hawley confused to Michigan and became a aerial academy abecedary of French and English. Like abounding Americans, she led a hard-working, alive life, and didn’t accept any acumen to admiration if the fatigue she had been activity was due to article added than her active schedule.
“Looking back, I had been actual tired, but I was working, I was teaching school,” Hawley said. “I had all these things activity on. You affectionate of amount it’s aloof the way things are.”
After a accepted mammogram, Hawley was diagnosed with date 3 blight in February of 1999.
“I had no idea,” Hawley said. “I didn’t accept any actual ancestors that had blight that I knew of … It was aloof affectionate of an cutting activity of, what next?”
After her diagnosis, Hawley underwent a mastectomy, followed by circuit of chemo and radiation. She had a lot of ailing canicule adored up, so luckily, demography time off appointment wasn’t difficult for her to do.
Chemotherapy is a aching and demanding process, but for Hawley, the affliction allotment of the acquaintance wasn’t actuality abhorrent for canicule or accepting her beard abatement out.
“The affliction allotment was not alive if the chemo was working, and not alive if you’re activity through all of this for nothing,” Hawley said. “… My thoughts were ‘I’m activity through this now, is it (the cancer) still activity to be there back it’s all over?'”
Hawley accomplished all of her treatments by December of the year she was diagnosed.
In February of 2019, Hawley will be a 20-year survivor of cancer. Hawley said she didn’t apperceive if she was activity to bless the ceremony yet, but she would absolutely like to.
“I anticipate that actuality absolute about things and accepting a absolute angle absolutely affects your analysis and the way your activity goes afterwards that,” Hawley said. “Having the blight fabricated me apprehend activity is precious. You bless every birthday. Always be blessed to accept accession birthday, and acknowledge God your blight is still in remission.”
In accession to actuality a (nearly) 20-year survivor, Hawley is additionally a backstab blight survivor. She was diagnosed with thyroid blight in 2010, but bare alone one annular of treatment.
Hawley said she hopes administration her adventure will animate bodies to brainwash themselves about the signs of blight and to accept a absolute angle on life.
“Don’t aloof be a survivor, be a thriver,” she said.
The Pink Ribbonetts are an Aiken-based accumulation of blight survivors that seek to advance acquaintance about assorted forms of blight and to empower survivors. To apprentice added about the group, appointment pinkribbonettes.org.
Kristina Rackley is a accepted appointment anchorman with the Aiken Standard.
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