Breast cancer survivor shares her story

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Lisa Bunkers is a breast cancer survivor. But more importantly, she is a mom, wife, teacher and friend.

“Right before surgery I was really nervous and (Dr. Dirksen) said look, let’s say a prayer, and he prayed and we prayed before surgery. That was monumental. I knew I was going to make it that day. I knew I was in the right place,” Bunkers said.

“It was in the summer of 2020. I was first having some aches and pains in my breast and when I finally had the courage to think OK, something is really wrong, I had that gut feeling. Once I got the diagnosis that I had breast cancer, things progressed pretty quickly from there.

“I could be mad, I could be sad, I could be angry, or I’m just going to find joy in this and live each moment because I can’t change it.

“People that I know in the community just raved about the Edith Center and we never heard a bad word about the people there and their facilities and the technology that they have, and so we knew that was where we wanted to go.

“First step was just meeting with the surgical team and the plastic surgeons. … I knew I was in the right place and then we started making decisions about chemotherapy and what type of treatment and how long we would have treatments for.

“That was a really hard part, not having the energy and missing out. I missed going to the kids’ activities, playing ball in the yard. I missed sitting around playing games with them at night. It was very hard not to work. I love my job, and I knew those kids would get me through it.

“You go through your treatments, and every once in a while, while you’re sitting there, somebody will ring a bell. So you wait and you go through every treatment thinking OK my time is going to come and once it does it was the best feeling ever. It is such a celebration, and the nurses all stand up and as you’re ringing, you just know you’re bringing hope to somebody else that’s sitting there that day, that they have the hope that they are going to ring that bell too.”