Survivor Feature Profiles by Melissa Karrer, Photography by Phillips Mitchell
In salute of Breast Cancer Awareness Month TOPS is proud to share the stories of 23 survivors.
Meet Sandy Wuest.
Sandy, mother of four children and grandmother to seven, found a lump on the side of her right breast in 2013. At first, she thought, “This couldn’t be happening to me. This happens to other people, not me.” She faced telling her husband and children that she had cancer. They had so much planned in the upcoming year. With all three of her daughters pregnant, she had a lot to look forward to. As it turns out, one of Sandy’s chemo treatments was scheduled on her daughter’s due date. She was able to postpone treatment and be with her daughter in labor and delivery.
Sandy found strength in her family and numerous friends. She explains, “I am a very family oriented person. I am involved with my grandchildren and love having my family, children and grandchildren around me.” During her treatment, Sandy’s husband conducted all of the research. He conducted internet searches, spoke with a friend who had been through breast cancer and challenged doctors.
Advice that Sandy offers others battling cancer, “You can’t do this alone. Many people want to help so let them.” She expresses the importance of making people aware of how you feel. “There will be many days that you may look like you feel good on the outside but definitely don’t feel good on the inside.” Sandy feels like cancer changed her life. She says, “I’m grateful/thankful for everyday and all the people in my life.”