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Diagnosis not a death sentence, survivor Lee Knable says

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Lee Knable wasn’t terribly concerned when she first found a cyst on her breast. She had had them before. This time, though, it didn’t heal properly. Her primary care physician did a mammogram, which detected cancer. A biopsy confirmed the diagnosis.

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Lee Knable, who has no family history of breast cancer, has been cancer-free for five years. "I was shocked, scared," she said.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Lee Knable, who has no family history of breast cancer, has been cancer-free for five years. "I was shocked, scared," she said.

“Because the mass was so large, they had to do chemo first to shrink the tumor before I had surgery,” she said.

Surgeons removed her lymph nodes because they were cancerous, too. Then she underwent more than 40 radiation treatments.

“It kicked my butt,” she said. “I felt like I had been hit by a truck. You just feel like you have the flu times a million.”

Knable said she got through it with the support of co-workers, friends and family, who brought meals and sat with her during chemotherapy.

ABOUT LEE KNABLE

AGE: 47

FAMILY: Husband, Chris; daughters, Annie, 21, and Allie, 18

OCCUPATION: Clinical director, Augusta Eye Surgery

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: Sept. 7, 2007; six rounds of chemotherapy, double mastectomy, more than 40 radiation treatments

HER ADVICE: “Just to not give up hope. Know there is so much support available. It’s not a death sentence these days like it used to be. There are so many different treatments. They need to embrace every bit of it, the bad and the good, because it’s just an experience that … I don’t know how to say it. I don’t wish anybody to have cancer, but it really opened my eyes to many beautiful things.”


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