"What I appreciate now is every day," Chris says, after surviving breast cancer.
Chris Cole of Loveland is a business owner, is involved in her church and community, and cares for her mother with dementia. When she has free time, she spends it with her family. Today, she cherishes every moment. "Cancer changes your idea of time. It changes everything," she said.
Because of her busy schedule, Chris had missed her yearly mammogram screening appointment. A year overdue, she finally had a mammogram and was called back for further testing. Soon after, in October 2011, her doctor called saying, "Here’s the deal. You have cancer, and it’s aggressive." She was in shock.
Chris had the tumor removed immediately along with several lymph nodes. Working with the physicians of the TriHealth Cancer Institute, she started chemotherapy and radiation. She relied on the resources of a nurse navigator and other TriHealth support.
Though her journey isn’t over, she is optimistic. Admittedly, cancer has changed her, and she now has a message for all women. "I talk to every customer I have, to all my friends and family. I tell them, ‘you have to get your mammogram. Don’t put it off—this is too important.’"