Buddy Check 12: One woman's journey Pt. 3

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Heartland News has been following Jackson mom, Judy Settle, through treatment for breast cancer in our monthly Buddy Check 12 segment.

Settle has undergone a mastectomy, started reconstruction, and is just over a month into chemotherapy treatments.

This month, a look at how Settle finds support as she battles this disease.

"I'd definitely have to say my husband, my son and daughter then all my family and friends," Settle said.

"I can't imagine going through anything like this alone," she added.

We first met Judy in March, shortly after her diagnosis of breast cancer. She's since started chemotherapy and is dealing with the side effects of the medicine that's fighting her disease.

Judy has tackled this tough time with her sense of humor, her strength, and her loved ones.

"She's tired a lot with chemo and I try to help around the house and take care of the kids as best I can," husband Eric Settle said.

Eric & kids Ryan and Taylor help at home and offer support.

"My husband and son have been there the entire time to encourage me and remind me what the outcome will be," Judy said.

Old friends are there as well.

"One friend in particular has made tons of meals and brought to us if it wasn't for her we'd have lived on peanut butter," Judy said.

She's also found support from new friends. She attends Southeast Health's Turning Point and Bosom Buddies meetings.

"It's a wonderful time to be able to get with other women and who have actually been through it," Judy said. "I'm still in early stages so for me it's been great to look to others and find out what's going to happen next," she added.

But she says the kindness of strangers gives her strength that she never expected.

"I had a parent from my sons school who I never met, look me up in the school directory after she saw the first Buddy Check 12 segment and she sent me a beautiful card and told me about her family and it was just very inspirational," Judy said.

And she has this advice for anyone out there who needs her support:

"Take a deep breath, pray if you believe in prayer, find somebody to talk to whether it be family, friends or going to the support group."

And Eric offers this for those going through breast cancer with a loved one:

"Be patient, let the medicine do its job and pray a lot."

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Information on SoutheastHealth's Turning Point & Bosom Buddy programs:

Turning Point

This program is a destination for those diagnosed with breast cancer within the past year. It addresses healing for the mind, body, and spirit. This seven week series is held on Tuesdays from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m., with new sessions beginning the first Tuesday in April and the first Tuesday in October. The meetings are held at Southeast HealthPoint Plaza in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Topics during the sessions include journaling, chemotherapy and radiation, energy conservation, lymphedema, nutrition, spirituality, exercise guidelines, and the American Cancer Society's "Look Good, Feel Better" program.

Participants receive a free six month membership to SoutheastHEALTHPoint Fitness and a personal fitness assessment to begin an appropriate exercise program. For more information, contact Paula Stout, PT, CLT-LANA at SoutheastHEALTHPoint Rehab at 573-986-4411.

Bosom Buddies

This informational support group is for all women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Facilitated by a Southeast Hospital nurse and a counselor or social worker, Bosom Buddies offers opportunities to share feelings and experiences, as well as information. The group meets from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., the first Tuesday of each month at SoutheastHEALTHPoint Plaza. For more information, contact Barb McKeon at 573-651-5546.