Great to see Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital DigniCap patient and her oncologist increasing breast cancer awareness with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
Source: DailyHerald.com. 10/21/22. Read full article here
44 year-old breast cancer survivor: “What happened to a year of my life?”
Last weekend, Soldier Field turned pink to support breast cancer survivors and fighters, including Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital patient Kara Walsh and her oncologist, Dr. Sandeep Chunduri. Prior to kick-off, patients unfurled a ceremonial pink ribbon, and during halftime, Kara and Dr. Chunduri joined other patients and care teams in the on-field Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. Following the competition, Kara rang the bell to celebrate being finished with treatment.
As a 44-year-old working mom with two young children, Kara Walsh was always on the go. A breast cancer diagnosis last September stopped her in her tracks.
“When I look back now,” she recalls, “I wonder: what happened to a year of my life?”
Kara felt a pain in her breast, and she knew something wasn’t right. Her first ever mammogram was the one that detected her cancer.
Initially, Kara was optimistic. She had been diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer, and the kind she had was small and slow growing. Following her lumpectomy, Kara took a precautionary test to see how likely her cancer was to reoccur. The results were disappointing and alarming. There was a 1 in 4 chance that her cancer would come back.
“It was a big blow,” Kara remembers. Her care team recommended additional treatment – chemotherapy and radiation.
Through it all, Kara had been open with her family about her diagnosis and treatment. When she told her 10-year-old son about the side effects, he was really concerned about his mom losing all her hair. Kara decided to try the Dignicap, a scalp cooling system for cancer patients that minimizes hair loss during chemotherapy treatment.
“I was able to keep 90% of my hair, and today, you would never know that I went through breast cancer just a few months ago,” Kara explained. “I didn’t think about how much you appreciate your hair, and how much even a small amount of hair loss affected me. I lost my eyelashes, eyebrows, and some of my hair, and I was a mess.”
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