By Kimberely Scott
As Gerry Westover looks through photo albums and beautiful cards she's received over the past few months, she thinks about a life she's grateful for…and how she doesn't take anything for granted. “I think I appreciate life more now because…if you've never gone through anything, you don't really know what it's like. I just thank the Lord each day as a gift,” she says.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in November of 2010, she nor her doctor could feel the lump. It was found during a routine mammogram. “He did a biopsy and it turned out that it was cancer, but they found it through a mammogram,” Gerry says.
Gerry and her husband have been married 52 years, and like any couple, they've had to overcome a few hurdles and fighting breast cancer was no different. They focused on beating the disease. “I had a few challenges, but we made it and that's the best thing, the Lord has really really helped me and our family to cope with this. Now, it's so wonderful, 'cause I want to help other people,” Gerry says.
Research shows that 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Gerry didn't have a family history of the disease, so this diagnoses was a surprise. “I started chemo in January of 2011 and it's just overwhelming because you're not expecting it,” Gerry says.
Early detection helped save Gerry's life. She faced radiation, chemotherapy, and a lumpectomy. She lost most of her hair, however…it's grown back now. She makes the choice to look at the bright side of life…and continues to appreciate it and her family.