“The best protection is early detection,” a saying the public has heard numerous times surrounding breast cancer awareness. For Cheryl Trammel, this saying took on new meaning after discovering a lump in her breast.
“I had not had a mammogram in eight years. My doctor got me an appointment, the same day, at Northeastern Health System,” said Trammel. “The best advice I can give, is to have yearly mammograms. It could have kept me from having a mastectomy.”
In 2010, Trammel discovered a lump. She visited her doctor who ordered a mammogram, which was followed by an ultra sound and a biopsy.
“When I received the bad news I was sick at my stomach,” remembered Trammel. “My mind started thinking about everything. How bad is it? Am I going to live through this? How bad are the treatments?”
Following her first PET scan, an imaging test allowing healthcare providers to check for diseases in the body, Trammel was told she also had papillary thyroid cancer.
“I had six months of chemotherapy and a month of radiation,” she said. “I was able to have my radiation at Northeastern Health System, and they were awesome. I would have my treatments Monday through Friday on my lunch hour, then return to work.”
Despite her double diagnoses, Trammel’s experience was better than she expected.
“I expected to be a lot sicker,” she said. “I was surprised I only felt like I had the flu. I would have treatment on Thursday, go back for a shot on Friday, feel bad Saturday and Sunday, then be back to work on Monday. I was very lucky I didn’t have any negative reactions to the medications they gave me.”
Trammel credits her positive attitude, support from family and friends, and her team of healthcare providers, with her positive outcome.
“Cancer is a very scary disease. There is not a day that goes by when you don’t think about it returning,” she said. “You are at the mercy of your doctors. I was blessed to have an awesome breast doctor, endocrinologist, and radiologist. It’s also a very expensive disease. Hopefully in the near future they will find a cure.”
The administration, providers and staff at Northeastern Health System strive to provide convenient and affordable access to a full range of services, including many primary and specialty care services, and consider it a privilege to serve the community. As a result, NHS is offering $75 mammogram screenings during the month of October, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month. To make an appointment for a mammogram and take advantage of the $75 flat fee, please call (918) 772-4588.