Finding Light in Cancer’s Shadow: Cheryl Moeller
Diagnosis: Stage 2 Breast Cancer
Discovering you have breast cancer can occur at any time. Cheryl was cleaning her kitchen floor as she readied for her grandson’s first birthday party when she felt a pain on her left side. She thought she’d pulled a muscle while cleaning or during her yoga class the night before. She discovered through self-examination she had a lump on the top of her left breast. She went in to have a biopsy which indicated that the mass was at stage zero, but through further examination, it was discovered she had Stage II breast cancer and that she’d need to have a mastectomy. Not wanting to possibly go through surgery twice, Cheryl opted to have a double mastectomy. She had four lymph nodes removed and she went through twelve rounds of chemotherapy and Herceptin treatments. Her last round of chemotherapy was August 1 and she will continue on Herceptin until next May.
Cheryl has learned that having cancer is something that is out of her control, but she says she has chosen to live in the present. She also says she is living her life in a more organically, where everything fits together harmoniously. “If it’s not organic then it needs to go,” she says. “That means relationships with people, but also my own thoughts and feelings. If I start thinking of a negative thought or I’m feeling sorry for myself, I work on a happy, ‘organic’ thought to replace the negative feelings.”
Heidi Fuller helps Cheryl Moeller prepare for her photo session as part of the Real Faces of Cancer awareness campaign. Heidi created the campaign to alleviate the anxiety cancer survivors experience when they’re searching for a wig.