“In 2011, my twin sister chose to ignore the risks of breast cancer and died because it metastasized throughout her body in 10 months.” With wisdom and hope, Connie says “we’re not going down that road!”
Born in Roseburg and raised in Medford, Connie is a true Oregonian. She moved to the Oregon Coast in 1994, where she relishes her work as a bus driver for the transit system in Coos Bay/North Bend. Despite Connie’s best efforts in serving her community and understanding the risks of breast cancer, in March of last year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Connie knew “keeping a good attitude” was critical. Thankfully in Connie’s case, the medical staff caught her cancer early. Reflecting back, Connie said “it’s weird to say but I wasn’t worried. It wouldn’t last forever.” Connie had an incredible support system and her positive mindset to guide her through her journey.
Connie said “[my family] always made me laugh—which helped immensely.” Connie is tremendously grateful to have her support system. She expressed her gratitude with a chuckle on numerous occasions. “Luckily I have two sisters who came to every treatment” she recalled.
When asked what helped her most through treatment, Connie said “being around positive people helped the most. My support is what got me through.” Connie advises others to surround themselves with positive influences. Being around encouraging individuals instilled a hopeful and encouraging attitude in Connie.
“Take one day at a time and don’t look too far into the future” Connie said with love in her voice.
During treatment, Connie took advantage of the Treatment Access Program, which is designed to help those recently diagnosed get the resources they need to complete treatment – like gas, lodging, and food while they travel. The Treatment Access Program is able to break those financial barriers. Connie is thankful for the service. Where she received her treatment services, the travel can be very expensive especially during radiation. Connie said, “When I was in radiation going back and forth every day, it [Treatment Access Program] really helped.” The programs that focus on the ‘little things’ can make the biggest difference!