Faces of Survival: Susan Schepens

Cancer survivor Susan Schepens

FAMILY: Husband, Roy; three children, Cissy, Pat and Claire

OCCUPATION: Retired medical technologist

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: September 2006; two lumpectomies, a mastectomy and reconstruction

HER STORY: A career in the medical field helped Schepens, 58, through her diagnosis and treatment.

She was leaving work one afternoon when a nurse stopped her to express sorrow for her pathology report.

Schepens hadn’t yet received the results from her doctor, though. She ran across the street to the doctor’s office and looked at the results immediately.

“I was actually able to look in a microscope and see my cell,” she said. “It was a good circumstance to be in.”

An overwhelming feeling of gratitude for her doctors and supportive family and friends has changed her outlook on life.

“You don’t surrender to the fight, but you surrender to the uncertainty,” she said. “If you demand to know what happens next, that just makes you anxious.”

HER ADVICE: “If you are fearful, make sure you don’t stay inside that fear. Make connections with others who have been through the same thing you have.”

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