North Attleborough cancer survivor recommends regular screenings

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Karen Moody of North Attleborough said those going through cancer treatments need to say positive and wait until they know their diagnosis for sure. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

You never know when it’s going to happen.

It was in April of 2008 that Karen Moody was diagnosed with breast cancer. After five rounds of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy in January 2009, she was declared to be in remission and has been cancer-free since. But she still advocates for regular screenings and not waiting for there to be a problem.

I didn’t know,” said Moody of North Attleborough. “I was just going in for a regular mammogram and boom, there it was.”

Moody had gone to Faulkner Hospital because doctors suspected that her mother had cancer in the 1980s. Upon getting the diagnosis she began to cry, but was resolved to get the cancer out of her as soon as possible. She recalled hearing that the cancer was only in the first stage, and so her chances of survival were good. She didn’t make any arrangements in case the worst happened, as her will was already in place. But she also felt positive that she could beat this diagnosis.

Moody said the prospect of undergoing chemotherapy scared her, so much so that a mental health specialist was called in. She expressed gratitude for her doctor, Dr. Daniel Morgenstern, for recommending that she get the chemo.

He really wanted me to do it, because I had a better chance of getting it back and he didn’t want me to go through it,” said Moody. “So, you know, I’m grateful for that because that was very hard.”

Moody said the chemotherapy was difficult at times, but she was able to have the treatments and continue working at Foxboro Federal Savings Bank in Foxboro . Her boyfriend at the time helped out, as did her friends at work.

One of them even made a cake for me the last time I had to go in for a treatment which I thought was sweet,” said Moody.

Thirteen years later, Moody said cancer is well out of her life, though she sometimes reads the news and was dismayed to learn that breast cancer cases now outnumber even lung cancer. She’s taken part in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraiser and recalls a feeling of community after meeting people who have had struggles similar to her own.

It’s good to get off your chest if you got problems or you’re worried,” she said. “So it’s good to talk to other people.”

When asked of her advice for others, Moody stressed that people can’t wait and need to go for their annual screenings. She said it’s best not to worry until they know what the full diagnosis is and take things one day at a time.

That’s what I did,” said Moody. “You know, just be positive, and just go through what you have to go through.”

fundraiser for the WWII Pool and Lenore's  Pantry