Betsy Wojtasek, 52
Breast cancer - Diagnosed Jan. 17, 2011
Betsy Wojtasek (purple shirt) with her family at the 2012 Relay for Life and at Christmas. She said her husband, Ed, her sons, Eddie and Kyle, and their girlfriends, MaryBeth and Sara were her biggest source of support.
My cancer story: I want to start by saying I believe everything happens for a reason and that God does not give us more than we can handle. So, when my mother-in-law, Nancy Wojtasek, died in March 2006 from leukemia, my mother, Betty Robinson Loftus, died in February 2007 after an operation, my brother, Sam Robinson, died in November 2008 after becoming ill, and I had to have a hysterectomy in February 2009, because of all the stress I was under, I thought to myself, "OK. I am pretty sure that is enough to handle." But, to my surprise, God wasn't finished with me.
In January 2011, my doctor called and asked me if I was still at work. I told him I was. He asked me if I could stop over, before I went home. I told him I would be right there, never for a moment thinking he was going to tell me, "You have cancer." My response, "Now what?" I had a lumpectomy done. Then I had a Mammosite done, so that I could do the intense radiation treatments. I went for two weeks, twice a day.
On the last treatment, the balloon was removed and I was free on Feb. 15, or so I thought. I was admitted to the hospital on April 16, with an infection at the site of my lumpectomy. I had surgery the next morning and was released two days later.
I keep up with all my doctors' appointments, but have been cancer free for two and half years.
Caregiver shout-out: My number one caregiver and best friend was my husband, Ed. He was by my side through every appointment, treatment, and surgery. He made some days bearable when they would have been unbearable. My other caregivers were my sons, Eddie and Kyle, and their girlfriends, MaryBeth and Sara. Everyone pitched in to do whatever needed to be done. I love them more than life itself.
Message to newly diagnosed and patients in treatment: Have faith in God, He will never leave you. Ask others for help. You do not have to go through this by yourself. You will need a support system.
Lessons learned on your cancer journey: One lesson I learned was to live life to the fullest, every day, because you never know when it might be your last.