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 Kristy Blevins.
Through mammograms, a biopsy, MRI and lumpectomy, abnormalities were found in both of Kristy’s breasts and it was determined that she had breast cancer. After consulting with a surgeon, it was decided to remove both breasts. Fortunately she has been able to forgo further treatment but follows up with her oncology team, surgeon and plastic surgeon annually.
Shock and numbness were Kristy’s initial reactions to the news. She recalls, “I didn’t really get angry because everything happened so quickly.” She found support from her mother, who helped shuffle her kids to their activities and make sure they maintained as normal of a life as possible. Her former mother-in-law was also instrumental in navigating her through her journey. Kristy also found resources through Kentucky CancerLink (then Kentucky Pink Connection). One of the biggest challenges for Kristy was the financial responsibility. Extra co-pays and medical bills were something she was not prepared for.
Kristy found strength in prayer and in her children Royce (13) and Raina (8). She says, “I did what had to be done because I have two kids to raise.” She has learned the importance of leaning on God and letting him carry her through this trial. She tells others battling cancer, “At the end of this journey, you’ll look back and appreciate everything that God has blessed you with.”
Cancer has changed Kristy’s life. She doesn’t take her health for granted and works on modifying her diet with her sugar intake and processed food. “I’ve learned to cherish every moment with my children.”