COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Lisa Mayberry of Colorado Springs says she waited an entire year before having a suspicious lump in her right breast checked out by doctors. The diagnosis was worse than she anticipated, and now she has a message for others.
Lisa says, in her family, she's always been the strong one.
"I helped [family] through cancer, I helped them through surgeries and things like that," she explains.
"So I was always the strong one and helper to other people."
But now, Lisa says, she's had to learn how to let others be strong for her, for many months in a position where she'd need it.
"I need to let others help me, and let them be a part of my journey."
The journey Lisa would trek was breast cancer, never thinking it would happen to her after she says she's been "blessed with good health all her life."
Diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2020, Lisa recalls regrettably waiting to have a mammogram after first finding a lump in her breast in 2019.
"I thought, oh, it can't be cancer so it'll be okay," Lisa says.
"But then COVID hit... Oh, I don't need to go in, it'll be okay."
Doctors would go on to find two tumors in Lisa -- one in stage three, the other in stage one. The cancer had also spread into her lymph nodes. Lisa initially had a lumpectomy, but the result wasn't positive.
"I was very positive until the doctor called back. I was like, I know I'm well, I know I'm well. [The doctor] goes, I'm sorry, we found more tumors, it's not good."
The treatment that followed required a mastectomy, then 25 rounds of radiation. Lisa now takes an estrogen blocker medication to keep from cancerous cells from reforming.
Lisa, now a month out of treatment, says she couldn't have gotten by without the help of others...once she finally let them.
“I have a great boyfriend, went to all my doctor appointments with me. I have a great support system at my church. So many prayer warriors helped me through it," Lisa says.
Lisa wants others to learn from her.
“Do not wait, because if they find it sooner, you might just be able to do the lumpectomy and maybe just a shorter radiation period. There’s so much out there. Get educated, but do get checked out. I already got my second mammogram — we’re not waiting anymore.”
KRDO is a partner with Susan G. Komen. Join us in the fight against breast cancer by participating in the More Than Pink Walk on Sunday, September 26, 2020. For more information, click here.