Healthy Living: Breast cancer survivor says 'do not wait to get checked'

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As October comes to a close, we wanted to remind you how important breast cancer screenings really are. We are sharing a story that is close to the FOX 13 News family as a member of our production staff recently helped her partner face the diagnosis head-on amid the pandemic. 

Cora Hensley has her whole life ahead of her, but sometimes the bumps in the road are unavoidable.

"I literally just stuck my hand on my chest like this and that’s when I felt the lump," said Cora. "And it was very large right off the bat, and that’s when I knew something wasn’t right."

Hensley made an appointment with her OBGYN a few days later.

"He is this really funny guy - he’s always cracking jokes when you go in there," said Hensley. "The second that he felt the lump in my chest he was serious - his face was red, there were no jokes. It was very hard because I was also alone - doing this during a pandemic was very hard so I had my girlfriend waiting in the car and my family members on the phone."

Hensley’s doctor sent her to a specialist the next day - who confirmed the news.

"I had a doctor’s appointment every single day from Dec. 15 all the way up to Jan. 8," she said. "I did six rounds of chemo that were really heavy, really hard on my body. After that, I had my mastectomy in June, followed by an expander ten days after that, and I took a month or two to start radiation. And I’ve done radiation every single day for 5.5 weeks."

Battling breast cancer in the grips of a pandemic, Hensley found strength in girlfriend, Michele, and Michele’s daughter, Sophia.

"And the nurses and the doctors, they advocated for me," said Hensley. "They made personal calls for me - the doctors would go as far as to hold my hand at appointments telling me it would be ok, and they sat in as the role of family for me and I couldn’t have done it without them."

Now in remission, Hensley can’t help but see her whole life ahead of her.

"Do not wait - check yourself," Hensley said. "At the first of every single month know your body - notice when there’s a change, go see your doctor, make an appointment, advocate for yourself. It could save your life because it saved mine."

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