Ruthie Garner, Cancer survivor - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ruthie Garner, Cancer survivor

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Two months ago we shared with you a story about Ruthie's battle with a rare form of cancer. She wanted to share her journey in hopes of raising awareness and ultimately helping others.

And Ruthie credits prayer and an amazing team of doctors and nurses for her recovery. After nearly two years of fighting, Ruthie Garner is now celebrating. "It will be two years in October. As far as I'm concerned I am, I'm cancer free."

Ruthie continues to meet with her doctor every three months until a big milestone in October, which marks two years from when Ruthie was diagnosed with stage III fallopian tube cancer.

"It's like 1% of all the gynecological cancers that a woman can have. And that's what I had."

While Ruthie felt fine, she knew something was wrong in the summer of 2013 when she began spotting. 
"Anytime there's spotting, or anything like that, changes with your body, after the age of 50, you need to get that checked out because it's usually not a good sign."

And it wasn't. Ruthie's doctor in Albany found a mass, but she had to have surgery to find out exactly what the mass was.


More on Ruthie-


Traditions

Where it all began

Cancer Survivor


Ruthie credits divine intervention for leading her to Dr. Joe Boveri at DeKalb Medical Center near Atlanta. "Unfortunately a lot of the tests that we have, CT scans, MRIs, ultra-sounds, they're helpful, but it's sort of looking at a black box. It gives you a sense of what's there, but it doesn't tell you specifically what it is. And the only way to really know what it is- is to get the tissue under the microscope."

"Meeting with my doctor and a couple other physicians, because of what I had, they all, without even talking to each other, they all said the same man's name, who is Dr. Joe Boveri."

Dr. Boveri moved forward with surgery in October 2013, but that was just the beginning. "I had a complete hysterectomy and that was followed by six cycles which consists of three treatments of chemo. So it was 18 total treatments and that was from January to April of 2014."

Dr. Boveri treats each case differently and chose a rigorous, aggressive treatment for Ruthie, which many hospitals don't do.  "The point of doing an aggressive treatment at the very front end is because we have the very best opportunity to eradicate the tumor completely. And that's why we're so aggressive with treatment. And Ruthie actually tolerated it really well.”

Ruthie credits her family and friends for helping her get through the darkest days. "I can remember, I had a couple of meltdowns and I can remember both times I had those meltdowns, here I go. My husband, Mike came in with roses. Or Stephen would sit on the couch and hug me. So family. Family and friends like you."

Ruthie, who's been a familiar face at WALB for more than 30 years, stepped away from the spotlight for nearly a year, but returned healthy, and with a different outlook on life.

"It changes how you look at things and what's important, what's not. Things that you use to get uptight about or stress over, you don't stress over those things anymore, they don't matter."

What does matter now is becoming an advocate for other women. "If I could just help women realize that when things are changing, not to ignore them, they're not going to go away if you ignore them. You need to get in and see your doctor."

Dr. Boveri considers Ruthie's case a success.

"You couple her exam, with how she's feeling and her scans all together and that would be consistent with somebody who's got no evidence of disease and that's as good as it gets."

While it was a long road to recovery, Ruthie credits the staff And prayer for her victory. "I told you, you and God together are a good team."

A good team that helped Ruthie win the fight of her life.

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