Faces of survival: Patricia Broadwater

Introducing women diagnosed with breast cancer

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"Don't let cancer take over your life. At one time, I let it take over mine. That's something I don't want anybody else to go through."

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Losing her hair was less traumatic for Patricia Broadwater than it was for her daughter, Amber, who kept asking whether her mom was going to die. "I told her, 'My hair is gone, but Mommy's still here,' " Broadwater said.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Losing her hair was less traumatic for Patricia Broadwater than it was for her daughter, Amber, who kept asking whether her mom was going to die. "I told her, 'My hair is gone, but Mommy's still here,' " Broadwater said.

PATRICIA BROADWATER

Her background

AGE: 44

FAMILY: Daughter, Amber, 15

OCCUPATION: Head mixer at Pepperidge Farm

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: January 2006; lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.

HER STORY

Since she had surgery in 2004 to remove a benign lump in her breast, Broadwater has had mammograms every four to six months. In December 2005, the lump that was found was cancerous.

"I thought I was going to die," she said.

For a year afterward, through surgery and treatment, she wouldn't talk about it. She felt that no one understood what she was going through.

She couldn't find a support group that fit into her work schedule. Her family and friends helped her stay upbeat, but because they hadn't been through it, she felt they couldn't understand.

Broadwater, who had never really liked animals, bought a Yorkie and named him Poo.

"It's more like when I talk to him, he understands what I'm going through," she said.

She loves her daughter, but said if they talk about the cancer, they both get emotional.

"With Poo, I ain't got to worry about that happening," Broadwater said.

HER ADVICE

"Join a support group," she said. "I didn't get into one. Everyone needs to get into a support group."

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TERRIGEORGE
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TERRIGEORGE 10/16/10 - 12:08 pm
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Pat, what a touching article,

Pat, what a touching article, when I found out, it was hard for me to think about, I didn't even have the courage to call, words had escaped me. I so happy we have re-connected. You have always been strong!
Terri

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