SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Fighting breast cancer

October 16, 2012

Former resident talks about her diagnosis, treatment, and the lingering effects

Now 35, Kelly Miner is only a few months away from being able to say she is cancer-free. Miner was 30 when she was diagnosed with stage 3 infiltrating ductile carcinoma in her left breast. Originally from Olathe, Kan., Miner spent most of her childhood in Buffalo, N.Y., before her family moved to Framingham when she was 11, and later to Danvers when she was 17. She has since lived all over the North Shore until three years ago, when she moved to Pennsylvania for a better job opportunity.

She underwent surgery and chemotherapy at Beverly Hospital.

“Of all the places I’ve lived, I consider the North Shore my home,” she said.

A youth pastor and foster parent, Miner also has a blog, “The Aftermath,” about how her life was affected after cancer.

Tell me about your diagnosis. Did you know something wasn’t quite right?

I felt something. I wouldn’t even call it a lump. It felt more like one of those wiggle worm toys that slip out of your hands. In school they had you feel for lumps the size of a pea. By the time I found mine, it was 5 centimeters wide. I was scared, but hoped for the best. I first knew something was wrong when the ultrasound technician looked at me and told me she was going to call in the doctor. The look in her eyes was one of terror.

What happened after your diagnosis? Did you undergo all of your treatment at Beverly Hospital?

Life was a whirlwind after my diagnosis. I had multiple tests and met many doctors. More people touched my breasts than I could have ever imagined. Appointments were scheduled QUICKLY. I was never given an official prognosis, but I knew it was bad because of how fast my appointments were scheduled. I was in a doctor’s office once or twice a week. I had my chemo and surgery at Beverly Hospital. I had my radiation in Peabody. Beverly Hospital did not have a radiation clinic at the time.

My medical team was the best I could have asked for. People asked me if I’d rather be in Boston and I said, “no way.” The nurses and staff knew me by name, fought for me, and truly cared in every way. I couldn’t have asked for better.

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Fighting breast cancer
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