Professor once affected by breast cancer

Ashton Smith, Contrbuting Writer

Breast Cancer Awareness is recognized throughout the month of October.However, it is a disease that can affect men and women at any time.

Dr. Sherri Raney, professor of history and political science, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2007.

Dr. Raney.jpg
Pictured: Dr. Raney. Courtesy Photo

“There was no [family] history of breast cancer,” Raney said.

While it came as a surprise to her and her family, the diagnoses did not shake them.

“I was pretty calm,” Raney said.“I was mainly focused on figuring out what needed to happen.”

Raney and her family kept their eyes and their hearts focused on the Lord.

“People were praying for me,” Raney said. “I felt a real peace through the whole thing, that I can only attribute to prayer.”

According to the American Cancer Society about 40,450 women will die from breast cancer in a year.

With those statistics, it can seem hard to stay positive through the chaos and stigma.

“From spring break ‘til early April, it went from test, to test, to test, to surgery,” Raney said. “Of course, it was a major disruption [in] my life.”

Cancer can seem to really take a toll and deplete energy quickly.

“Mainly, for me, the biggest side effect was just fatigue,” Raney said.“It’s hard to describe. This is hard to imagine you’ll ever have any energy again.”

Hair loss is also another side effect cancer patients have to deal with because of the medicine and chemotherapy.

“They tell you that three weeks after the first chemo treatment your hair will start falling out, and sure enough it did,” she said.

Going through cancer can be a hard journey. Reaching out to others and keeping in contact with friends and family during this time in their lives can make things feel easier.

“My family was definitely my biggest line of support, my husband, son, and especially my two daughters,” Raney said. “My family and friends were crucial to it all. They were terrific.”

Raney said having a support system can be pretty important.

“Don’t keep it to yourself, let your friends and family know so they can pray for you,” Raney said.“Ask them to pray not necessarily for healing, but for strength, peace, and comfort.”

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