Katherine “Kathy” Berry is maintaining a positive outlook in the midst of her own battle with breast cancer – and has the selfies to prove it.
The 72-year-old never imagined she would ever be receiving care at BSA Harrington Cancer Center.
“I have never considered getting cancer and I’m a retired hospice nurse,” Berry shared.
Over the years, Berry had accompanied patients to BSA Harrington Cancer Center and worked alongside its staff.
“I’m not used to receiving care.,” Berry said. “I’m used to being a caregiver.”
Berry’s primary care physician sent her to BSA Harrington Breast Center in August 2018 when she located a lump on Berry’s right breast during a standard breast exam.
“It was a foreign object on top of my breast that I never felt before,” Berry explained.
Within days, Berry had an appointment scheduled at BSA Harrington Cancer Center for testing, including multiple mammograms and biopsies.
Berry was diagnosed with Stage 2 Inflammatory Breast Cancer on September 24, 2018.
“When the nurse navigator, Betsy Weaver told me that I had breast cancer, I was at a loss for words,” Berry said. “I was so shocked and was not sure that I would ever breathe again.”
In the days following, Berry had a breast MRI and then met with a familiar face, Dr. Brian Pruitt.
“I had told Betsy I wouldn’t decide on treatments until I spoke with Dr. Pruitt,” Berry shared. “He is a friend, former colleague and I trust him with my life. I knew Dr. Pruitt would direct my care in a fashion I knew would be a good path for me to take. He is caring, professional and I knew from the beginning this was going to be okay.”
Berry’s journey to becoming cancer-free would start with chemotherapy, followed by surgery.
“Oddly enough, I was prepared to do what needed to be done,” Berry said. “I knew I would be well cared for.”
Berry began chemotherapy at BSA Harrington Cancer Center on October 11, 2018.
“I had so much fun at chemo it was hurtful,” laughed Berry. “The staff at BSA Harrington Cancer Center has an extraordinary sense of humor. They are professional and I felt safe in their hands.”
Berry completed 20 weeks of chemotherapy on February 28, 2018.
“It was certainly a celebration,” Berry said.
Berry is now receiving antibodies every three weeks and will soon discuss surgery with her surgeon, Dr. Michael Lary with BSA Amarillo Surgical Group.
“I’m wondering what I’m going to do on Thursdays,” Berry shared. “For 20 weeks, my Thursdays have been spent at Harrington.”
It was important for Berry to reassure her friends and family that BSA Harrington Cancer Center was the best place for treatment and she was in good hands. And so, Berry took a selfie during every chemotherapy session.
“I took a selfie at chemo every week to send it off to numbers of people, including my niece, nephew, sister and brother-in-law,” Berry explained. “I needed them to see how well I was doing, and the pictures show that.”
Berry couldn’t help but smile every time she walked through BSA Harrington Cancer Center’s doors for treatment.
“I laughed, ate popcorn and visited with old and new friends at Harrington,” Berry shared. “I have made new friends on their own journey with breast and other types of cancer.”
Although her diagnosis has altered her life in many ways, Berry’s spirit remains unbroken.
“It’s been quite a journey at this point, and it has been nothing but positive,” Berry shared. “We have worked hard and I have the people behind me who know exactly what to do.”
Berry encourages women to make time for their mammogram. Call 806-212-1905 to schedule yours today. To learn more about BSA Harrington Cancer Center, click here.