Kelly Goldman was feeling great after her recent 15 pound weight loss. Then, while changing into a sports bra, she discovered a lump in her breast leading to her battle against breast cancer.
“I attribute my weight loss to helping the lump become more noticeable,” said Goldman. “I had not had my mammogram that year and actually completely forgot. That won’t happen again.”
Goldman was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Stage 2, unilateral.
“I had a strong feeling it was cancerous, knowing it was not painful at first and wasn’t there before,” said Goldman.
As a former radiological technician, Goldman was knowledgeable about the possible signs and symptoms of cancer.
“I can honestly say I wished I did not know as much as I did, medically that is,” said Goldman. “I wanted to be just a regular person with no idea of what was to come or expect. I didn’t wanted to know the worst case scenario. I was in shock, and scared to put my children and husband through what was to come.”
Goldman contacted her healthcare provider and received a mammogram which confirmed the mass. She then had a biopsy preformed, which confirmed the cancer. From there, Goldman saw an oncologist who informed her she would need radiation and chemotherapy, as well as a lumpectomy or mastectomy. She chose the lumpectomy, as the survival rate was the same.
Goldman was able to receive both her chemotherapy and radiation treatments in Tahlequah, thanks to the partnerships created through Northeastern Health System.
“I received my chemotherapy from Warren Clinic Medical Oncology-Tahlequah office, and the Northeastern Health System Infusion Center. I received my radiation treatment from Northeast Oklahoma Cancer Center,” said Goldman. “That was a Godsend. I could receive my treatment in the town I worked in and my husband could be with me without having to miss work. I did not have to drive to Muskogee, Tulsa or Fayetteville, which were all further away from home.”
Many cancer survivors express a greater appreciation for life. Small things that once mattered become less important, and loved ones and other people become more important.
“My battle has helped me learn to slow down and enjoy the time I have with my husband, kids and my new granddaughter,” said Goldman. “I feel there are things I worried about, or stressed over, that are really not that important. I also feel that life throws things at you that are beyond your control, and you have to learn to accept them and try to make the best of the situation.”
Goldman credits the people in her life for helping her overcome the ordeal.
“My husband, Ryan, my kids, Slayter, 25, Abby, 15, and Evan 13, extended family members, our friends, my kids’ friends and parents, my work family, Cherokee Hills Family Medicine, my husband’s work families, Diagnostic Imaging Associates, Northeastern Health System and Hastings Hospital, and all the prayers from everyone, is what got me through this ordeal,” said Goldman. “I would encourage every woman to schedule your mammogram or ask your provider about it if you have any questions or concerns.”
Early detection offers patients the best chance of surviving breast cancer. This is why Northeastern Health System offers a mammogram special each October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Patients wishing to have a mammogram may do so for a flat fee of $75, with no physician’s order required. To make an appointment, call (918) 772-4588.