Cancer survivors celebrate life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cancer survivors celebrate life

June 5, 2005

Albany-- "We had a hat party and I think I ended up with about fifty hats," says Stacey Warrington.

Dozens of hats are giving one family a reminder of the past year and a half. "Sometimes I would play with them and sometimes I would wear them to places and me and my sisters would play dress up sometimes," says 9-year-old Amelia Warrington.

But up until last summer, the hats weren't about dress-up for her mom Stacey Warrington. They were more of a cover-up for a long battle, a battle that began with one lump in her breast and then a second.

"When that second lump came up, that's when I went back and my doctor was still like 99% sure that it was not cancer," says Stacey. She decided to get a biopsy just to be sure.

"I remember telling my husband the next morning on the way to the hospital. I said if something happens and I wake up and this is cancer, please tell me. Don't let me not know," says Stacey. That's a tough job for any family member. "Unfortunately I had the job of telling her it was bad and it was cancerous," says Jon Warrington.

Breast cancer is something that affects millions of women worldwide and when it hits, "Oh boy, you really just. I don't know if words can describe that feeling. It's overwhelming," says Stacey. She then had to get a masectomy followed by several months of chemotherapy.

"You're tired all the time. Of course the hair loss was the primary thing," says Stacey. It's something that she hid beneath the many hats and sometimes scarves. "Towards the end, she wouldn't wear anything but she looked pretty everytime," says Amelia.

Now her cancer is in remission and she's almost at the end of a full year of treatment. "I've got four left. I'm actually having one Monday so after that just three left," says Stacey. She'll be done with everything in August and she'll soon look back on her journey to recovery.

"I was thinking about that the other day. Even though that will be over with, I don't think you ever close that chapter in your life, you know I think it's something that will always be with me," says Stacey.

But everyday she'll be reminded of it in some way or another which can be a good or bad thing. "For me, it's a good thing. It's a motivator and it makes me extremely appreciative," she says.

She's appreciative of just being able to get up everyday and be alive. "And then you look back and say well I did do it and it was not that bad," says Stacey.

She has a few reminders of her battle, a battle in which she's a survivor.

National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual event celebrated each year on the first Sunday in June.

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