Buddy Check 12: A Survival Story




Buddy Check 12: A Survival Story
By: Wendy Ray

It's sometimes hard for us to forget about bad things that happen in our lives and focus on the good.

For one Heartland women the day she was diagnosed with breast cancer was one she will never forget, but she doesn't dwell on it. Jana Kassel doesn't let much get her down. Jana's positive attitude carries her throughout life, and helped her get through treatment for breast cancer.
Jana almost always wears a smile on her face. "I always say other than that small bout with cancer I've never been sick," she laughs. Jana was only 34 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. "I think subconsciously I suspected something because when I folded something, like a towel or a sheet, it would pull. I never felt anything but the doctor found it right away." Jana was familiar with breast cancer, her mother had it, but she didn't expect to get it at such a young age. "It was the worst day of my life. I'm not married, I live alone and my only sister lives in Texas so I got on the phone immediately," Jana says.
She got on a plane and flew to Dallas where her sister and nieces helped her get through a lumpectomy and chemotherapy. "When it was time for chemo every three weeks I would go to Texas, but radiation is everyday so I stayed here and would just go during my lunch break and come back to work," she says. That was ten years ago, Jana says she's lucky and calls her breast cancer a temporary inconvenience. She lives everyday to the fullest and doesn't worry about her cancer coming back. "I don't want to waste good years dwelling on something that may or may not happen because I don't know, no one knows."

Jana has not had any reoccurrence with her breast cancer, but she still gets a mammogram every year to make sure everything's okay. As part of our Buddy Check 12 program we encourage women to do the same.