Patient Story: Shandrika Christopher - Cancer Survivor
In October 2013, at 32 years old, Shandrika Christopher found a lump in her left breast through her monthly breast self-exam. She immediately visited her OB/Gyn, who referred her to a general surgeon for further testing. During that visit, she had a diagnostic 3-D mammogram and biopsy. She later heard the words that no one ever wants to hear: "We need to talk … you have cancer." Her test was positive for pre-cancer and cancer cells.
As a social worker, Shandrika spends her days helping others navigate their way through life and its challenges. Now, it was her turn to seek and secure the help she needed to fight cancer. She quickly got to work. On December 2, 2013, pathology of lumpectomy confirmed Stage 2 breast cancer lymph nodes and surrounding tissues were negative. Wasting no time and following the recommendations of her doctor, she began chemotherapy on January 10, 2014, with her last treatment taking place on January 8, 2015. In, April 2014, she began radiation therapy daily for six weeks, with final treatment in June 2014. At her follow-up appointment in July 2014, she was cleared to end radiation. In April 2015, at her three-month appointment after chemotherapy, Shandrika received the best news possible: the "all clear."
Throughout treatment, Shandrika was able to continue working as a social worker...tending to the needs of others. She reflects, with enormous gratitude, on the flexibility of scheduling treatments at Regional Medical Center around her life, her schedule. And she is extremely thankful for the numerous physicians and clinicians who cared for her along the way, not only for their expertise and skills, but also for their time, flexibility and compassion.
"It was my faith, family and friends, great determination and the staff at RMC that brought me through this, "she said.