As part of the four week series on breast cancer, the last two weeks of our series will focus on stories from fighters and survivors of breast cancer. This week’s story is from Angela Crawford, a local Marshfield resident.
“I was diagnosed in July 2014 with stage 2 breast cancer,” reflected Crawford. “I was 31 years old.”
“I remember feeling in shock and disbelief because everyone kept saying I was ‘too young’ for breast cancer,” reflected Crawford “I was scared of the upcoming treatment and I was fearful of dying.”
Crawford began daily treatment for breast cancer, she was treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. “I underwent Chemo every 3 weeks for a six-month timeframe…daily radiation treatment for almost 2 months,” shared Crawford. In addition to the chemo and radiation, Crawford also underwent a double mastectomy with tissue expanders and reconstruction.
“Chemo was the worst part for me. My treatment was every three weeks. I would be bed ridden for a little over a week with each treatment,” shared Crawford as she recalled on her time receiving treatment. “I would finally start feeling better right before my next treatment.”
Prior to her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer Crawford had been working full-time. “I went from working full-time to not being able to work at all,” reflected Crawford. “I was unable to care for myself or my family while undergoing chemotherapy. My children were 4 and 6 at the time and I was unable to be a mom to them…it was heartbreaking…”
“I remember feeling so sick a few times that…I had the kids lie next to me in bed and fall asleep with them next to me because I was so afraid of passing in the night,” reflected Crawford.
“My support system was amazing. My husband (Brad) was the best caregiver and dad during my cancer journey. Most people don’t realize that I may have been (the one) diagnosed with cancer, but he went through it also.”
“My mom would come take care of me when Brad was working. The grandparents rotated keeping the kids for the first 2 days after my treatments so Brad could focus on caring for me…friends and family, along with the community, were very supporting and helpful…the meals brought to feed my family after my treatments will always be greatly appreciated by me.”
Come December, Crawford will be in remission for 8 years. As a breast cancer survivor and advocate for breast cancer awareness, Crawford donates her time each spring to model for The Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozark in the annual Time to Share event. The event raises money and awareness for those diagnosed with breast cancer in the Ozarks.
“My Facebook messenger has to be my best tool for providing awareness, conversation, question answering, or just a listening ear to anyone awaiting mammogram results, biopsy results or me answering questions that people have. I’m always more than happy to talk to anyone who is afraid or has a concern that they wish to talk to someone like me who has been through it and understands the anxiety. Please feel free to chat with me if you’re scared…no question is stupid.”
“My breast cancer journey has completely changed my life for the better. I am not thankful for breast cancer, but I am thankful for how it has changed me as a person,” reflected Crawford. “I absolutely adore getting older. Aging is a gift denied to many. Almost dying has a way of making you realize and understand what’s important and what is not worth your time…life isn’t meant be lived out there trying to impress others, life is meant to be lived to it’s fullest…”
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