A serious health condition may make you feel like you’re all alone. But you’re not. Over the years, many of our patients have shared their stories with us at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance so that we may share them with you.
Some might say she was at the peak of health and fitness. The prior summer, Ali Spain completed the TransRockies Run, a six-day ultra trail race that covered 120 miles at elevation in the Rocky Mountains. Then at the age of 47, her breast cancer diagnosis changed everything.
Karen Allen will tell you that she’s a married, middle aged, middle income, mother of two. Her friends might tell you she’s also a biker chick. What you won’t readily know from either perspective is that she’s been faced with cancer — not once, but twice.
For me, it's been wonderful to know Dr. Julie Gralow because I know the kind of work that she does at SCCA. I have taken women who were given time to go home and prepare to end their lives and I took them to her or I took them to someone else at SCCA.
When you’re 29 years old, you expect many things in life, but not that you’ll wake up one day and notice something different about your breasts. But that’s what happened to Ashley Walker one October day in 2012. She noticed a flattening on her right breast. Then she felt a lump. She’s young and fit and figured it was nothing, but she called the Breast Health Clinic at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Women’s Center and made an appointment just to be sure.
Being misdiagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) only to learn she actually had inflammatory breast cancer was an emotional blow to Vickie Grams back in 2004.
When you’re 24 years old and practically a newlywed, the last thing you expect to do is fill out a last will and testament with your spouse. But that’s what Sarah Lien had to do with her husband, Kirk, when they learned that Sarah had a fast-growing form of breast cancer.
Rebecca Seago-Coyle became a long-distance runner in 2009 at the age of 34. “I planned to walk and run alternate miles my first marathon, which was in Portland,” she said, “but I ended up running the whole thing. I loved it!” She ran a half-marathon a few months later and decided that 35 was going to be her year. “I wanted to be known for doing something,” Rebecca said, “and I decided to run or ride my bicycle in an event every month of 2010.”
Lynnette Stone was dreaming about Sierra Leone. Having raised and home-schooled three daughters and a son, now grown, she was ready at 50 for a new experience. A three-week humanitarian trip to an orphanage in western Africa seemed like just the ticket. She made the plans, she raised the funds, and then everything changed.
Diligent about getting her annual mammograms for 20 years, Keum Ja Bae was surprised when she received a letter requesting she have a follow-up mammogram in March 2012. She had been healthy her entire life.