Race Blog: A Message from Cathy, a Mother, Blogger, and Survivor

A message from Cathy Buchanan, our Plano Race blogger and breast cancer Survivor:

My name is Cathy Buchanan, and I will be the face behind the Plano Race for the Cure blog this year. I am the mother of two teenaged girls, a recent widow, and full time employee in Information Security Governance. In my spare time I volunteer with the girls’ school groups, help out with various Girl Scout activities, am a member of the Susan G. Komen North Texas Voices of Hope survivor choir, and volunteer with the Plano Race for the Cure Planning Committee.

I am a 3-year breast cancer survivor. The term “whirlwind journey” accurately reflects what I went through. I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer on November 28, 2011. The initial finding was a 4cm mass in my left breast, and a 2.5cm mass in my lymph node. By the end of December, I had an EKG, PET mammogram, PET scan, port placement surgery and started chemo. I was determined not to let cancer slow me down, so the morning after my first chemo (and a night spent sick as a dog) we still loaded the family in the car and drove to Colorado to celebrate Christmas. By the time I got home, my hair was starting to fall out, so I went and had my head shaved and bought myself a wig.

Chemo took a lot out of me, since I was one of the “lucky ones” who managed to have most of the potential side effects. However, chemo did an awesome job and by the end of treatment my lymph nodes were clear, and the mass in my breast was down to 2cm. Because of the triple negative diagnosis, I elected to go through a bi-lateral mastectomy. As soon as that healed, I started 30 rounds of radiation. I finished everything off with reconstruction in November of 2012.

Treatment took a lot out of me physically and emotionally. I was pleased to get myself in shape enough to walk in the Komen 3-Day in November of 2013. That was the final phase of healing for me. I saw so many other Survivors, Co-Survivors and people working together in a positive manner to help find a way to end breast cancer.

I learned a lot about myself through this journey. I was blessed to have the support of an amazing husband and girls, great friends, church family, and scout family. I learned how to ask for and accept help with day-to-day activities.

So why am I involved with the Plano Race for the Cure and with Komen North Texas? Because I don’t want my girls, or anyone else for that matter, to go through what I did. Together we CAN find a cure. #PlanoRFTC

I look forward to writing this blog and sharing my story over the coming months as we lead up to the Plano Race for the Cure. Please register for the Plano Race for the Cure today so you don’t miss any of my blogs – we would love to have you join us as we celebrate Komen North Texas’ 25th year serving the North Texas community. This blog is intended to help you learn a bit more about breast cancer, to help you with fundraising ideas for the Plano Race for the Cure, and to introduce you to some of the participants in this year’s race. Make sure to like us on Facebook for interesting facts, fun ideas, and motivation! And, of course, I’ll see you all at the Race on June 13th!