Advocating for yourself!

Sandy Laird

August 2019: I had a lump behind my ear, my doctor thought it was a swollen gland, after tests, they determined it was a benign tumor. My gut told me to remove it. Thankfully I did, turned out to be Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (parotid cancer). I had the gland removed followed by 6 1/2 weeks of daily radiation. 3 days after completing radiation I ran a 1/2 marathon! In December, I was diagnosed with shingles, then COVID hit, then I had an emergency appendectomy. July 2020: I had a routine mammogram, brought back for more tests after something “suspicious” showed up. Doctors felt they could keep an eye on, what they called, a nodule. I wanted it biopsied. Sure enough, it’s invasive ductal carcinoma. It’s crazy - here I am, exactly one year later, another surgery and will be enduring another 6 1/2 weeks of daily radiation. I beat cancer once and am prepared to do it again. I’ve learned how strong I am, as well as learned to advocate for myself when it comes to my health! I’m so fortunate to have amazing, fun, supportive friends and family, and most of all, my loving husband.