Jane Thoma

Jane Thoma
Location:
Shorewood, WI

Career:
Retired MPS Kindergarten Teacher (34 Years)

Age Diagnosed:
61

My Reason For Participating:
“Being a breast cancer survivor who loves to work on crafts, becoming a Rare Chair Affair Survivor Artist seemed perfect for me. I want to raise money for breast cancer research so others will not have to go through this terrible disease.”

My Story:
I am one of the lucky ones. I have always been diligent in going in for my yearly mammograms. This time a radiologist noticed a “shadow” and decided to look at it a little further. I was given a follow-up mammogram, and ultrasound, and finally a biopsy to determine what it was. It was cancer.

My surgeon and I decided on a lumpectomy, as my cancer was very small. I have invasive ductal carcinoma. After the surgery, my lymph nodes, receptors, and margins we found to be clear, but we have decided that radiation was the best treatment for me. I have been walking to Columbia’s Cancer Care Center for my radiation treatment now for 34 days.

The lesson here is early detection. Everyone at the Columbia Cancer Care Center has been so kind, especially Dr. Olson and nurses Carey and Carol. I have even taken advantage of the music therapy, advice from a nutritionist, and acupuncture services.

When I go for my radiation treatment, it only takes me reciting half of a Hail Mary prayer for the treatment to be complete on each side. I have never experienced being tired or uncomfortable.

Throughout my treatment I have been able to keep up with my favorite activities at the Public Museum (I volunteer for the Butterflies and Eqyptian exhibits), Family Sundays at the Art Museum, and I am mentoring a first year kindergarten teacher, I even take classes and attend luncheons.

I think friends (especially my book club, The 12 Muses) Maryanne, Ruth, and Elaine who always kept me busy, Jean who called me frequently to say, “This is Nurse Jean, calling to see how you’re doing,” my family (especially my sister-in-law Ann), and of course maintaining a positive attitude has kept me going.