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Local woman’s cancer battle uncovers family link

FROM WIS TV

A Midlands woman’s fight against breast cancer led to a discovery that may save the lives of her sisters and daughters.

Click for Video: wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina

Kelly, Kathryn and Ashley

Kelly, Kathryn and Ashley

 

Kathryn Robinson’s cancer battle started more than two years ago.  ”I was preparing to go to work, and while I was in the shower I just accidentally felt a lump in my breast,” said Robinson.

It had been less than two months since Robinson’s yearly mammogram, but she knew something wasn’t right. “I called the doctor and went in that afternoon,” said Robinson. “He sent me in for an ultrasound that next Monday.”

Just a few days after the ultrasound Robinson was diagnosed with breast cancer and life immediately changed for her and her family.

“When my mom was diagnosed and she talked about getting genetic testing done, that’s the first time I had ever heard of the gene,” said Robinson’s 24 year-old daughter, Ashley Lyons.

Robinson’s family quickly learned about the BRCA gene malformation. It’s hereditary and when present greatly increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In the midst of chemo, Kathryn tested positive for the gene.

“I had eight rounds of chemotherapy, and I was scheduled to do radiation after that, but because I was positive with the BRCA2 gene, they did a bilateral mastectomy,” said Robinson.

Doctors at Lexington Medical Center recommended the mastectomy and a hysterectomy in hopes of eliminating Robinson’s future cancer risks. They also advised her family to get tested for the gene.

“I had one sister that wasn’t interested in getting tested and a younger sister that I can usually persuade to do just about anything… she went and got tested,” said Robinson.

As it turned out, Robinson’s sister Kelly Moore also tested positive for the gene malformation. “I feel like I’m the lucky one,” said Moore. “Kathryn helped to educate me, and I had all of her valuable information for what she had gone through.

Moore chose to have her ovaries removed as a preventive measure, and is now getting more frequent breast exams. For Robinson’s daughter Ashley, the decision was more difficult.

“At first, I did not want to know,” said Ashley. “I did not want to be tested.” But Ashley says her older sister talked her into being tested for the gene. While her older sister does not have the BRCA malformation, Ashley does.

“At first I was like how do you test positive and do nothing about it…so that was kind of hard in the beginning,” said Ashley.

But medical oncologist Dr. Steve Madden at Lexington Medical center says at Ashley’s young age it’s okay not to undergo preventive surgery as long as she’s pro-active. “As long as you’re aware, you’re going to be on top of anything and catch it much earlier if it develops at all,” added Dr. Madden.

Kathryn has been a survivor now for two years. Her family calls her a lifesaver. “She was very positive, and she inspired all of us to take a fighting approach to it,” said Moore.

Dr. Madden says doctors usually advise anyone diagnosed with breast cancer who is under the age of 50 to be tested for the gene. They also advise immediate family members of breast cancer patients to be tested, as well.

Click for the full video: WIS TV VIDEO

Guest Blog: Understanding the Scars of Domestic Abuse

Emotional Abuse: The Scars Within
By: Tamika L. Sims, Author and Lexington Medical Center Quality Date Specialist. She’s a mom, sister, friend and survivor.

As a young girl I recited the following nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt.” I said this every time I felt offended; on the playground during recess, walking down school hallways, or walking home in the afternoons at the end of the school day.

I dismissed this nursery rhyme as nothing more than that. After all, words could never hurt…right? Words were meant to roll as “water off a ducks back.” They were not seen as a source of pain. As I became an adult, I realized that only half of this statement is true. Sticks and stones can break bones – but words can and definitely will hurt, especially in a relationship when they are spoken from the lips of one who is supposed to love you.

Victims of physical abuse are easy to identify. Victims of emotional abuse have the appearance of the “everyday woman.” Bruises heal. My concern is the invisible scar, the one that murders the soul.

Emotional abuse cripples the victim – leaving them feeling helpless and hopeless. While not the easiest to identify, it is the hardest to move forward from. Psychologically, emotional abuse damages your self-esteem and your sense of who you are.

By the time she realizes that she is a victim of emotional abuse; she is no longer the same woman. She is now withdrawn, experiencing hair and weight loss, depressed all because of the violence she is experiencing at home. She believes that this is love which confuses her. She reasons within herself that this is all she is worth and does not deserve anything better. All of which is not true.

The majority of the relationship with my former boyfriend D.L. was emotionally and verbally abusive. I suffered many other forms of abuse, but the emotional was the most damaging. I no longer recognized the distorted reflection in the mirror. At some point, I became so dependent on him for validation, a transformation took place. I was lost and hidden in him. We were interconnected.

Through counseling and support, I was able to get back to me.

If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship help is available. Please call 1-800-799-SAFE to get connected to resources in your community. Love is NOT abuse. Love does NOT hurt.

LMC Hosts Honor Flight Reception

From Cola Daily.

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 9.19.19 AM

 

Lexington Medical Center trustee Dr. Tripp Jones only had to look for a moment to see what inspiring and service-minded people had gathered at the hospital on Tuesday.

“Don’t you wish we could take this group up to Washington and run Congress with them?” he asked about the crowd of local veterans.

As Jones explained, the veterans and their guests had come to LMC to be treated to a special screening of a short film. Not only did the piece share their stories of personal military service, but it also featured many of the veterans’ on-the-spot interviews from the recent Honor Flight.

Read the full story here.

http://coladaily.com/2013/10/10/lexington-medical-debuts-honor-flight-short-film-to-crowd-of-local-veterans/