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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Still positive after testing positive

  • There was no history of cancer in Mary Hogue's family. So, when her doctor told that her first mammogram she'd ever had came back positive for cancer, she was shocked.
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  • There was no history of cancer in Mary Hogue's family. So, when her doctor told that her first mammogram she'd ever had came back positive for cancer, she was shocked.
    That was last October.
    Today, the 61-year-old nurse and caregiver has a new outlook on life.
    She sat down recently with the Rolla Daily News to talk about her journey over the last 12 months.
    Tell me how you found out you had cancer?
    My doctor was after me for some time for me to get a mammogram. I had never had one. There was never any breast cancer in the family. So I didn't think I had anything to worry about.
    The doctor called me back for another one and they wanted to do a ultrasound and then a biopsy. They found a spot next to my chest wall. After the biopsy, it came back that it was positive.
    I had surgery a week before Thanksgiving and they didn't get clean edges and so I had to go back right before Christmas and they got clean edges.
    What was your reaction when you found out?
    I didn't believe it. There was nothing in my family. I heard that if you breastfed, you had less chances so  I thought it was impossible to have it. But I did. My family and friends were shocked. My supervisors and co-workers at the hospital (Phelps County Regional  Medical Center) bent over backwards to accommodate me.
    Have you gone through chemo?
    I started my chemo in February and started radiation treatment in March and got that  done with in July.
    I have 15 more chemo treatments to go. The chemo medicine is affecting my heart so the doctors want me to take a break and have my heart gain more strength.
    What are your doctors saying about your diagnosis?
    Nothing is showing up and all my tests keep coming up negative. I think I am going to beat it. I'm too ornery to die. I still got work to do. I got people to take care of.
    How has it changed your life?
    I am a positive thinker and I figure when God wants you, He is going to take you. I enjoy the most of everyday. I stay busy and that is how I deal with worry and things like cancer. I am determined that it is not going to slow me down.
    I love caring for people. It is like hitting the lottery when I care for someone.
    It used to scare me but now that I have gone through it, cancer is not as scary.
    All my docs have been honest and up-front. They have told me exactly what to expect and I know that that has helped me through this.
    Page 2 of 2 - What is your advice for someone who just received a cancer diagnosis?
    Think positive and go with the flow. Sometimes we think chemo is the worst of it but you have to think of it as being the cure. It is the best of both worlds.
    Years ago people went through a lot worse than what they do now in their treatments. There are side effect drugs to help you through it. And I think your survival chance is a lot better now. And make sure you get a routine mammogram.
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