FAIRBANKS, Alaska - With the 2019 relay for life quickly approaching, we continue our series on Cancer Survivors.
“It was massive, it was actually 6.3 centimeters by 4.5 centimeters by 8.1 centimeters, so almost the size of a fist.”
Joyce Carpenter found out she had cancer on September 11th of 2009. Carpenter, who did not believe in mammograms, reluctantly listened to her doctors advice and got the examination. The mammogram showed a tumor.
“I started Chemo less than three weeks after that, and in less than three weeks, the tumor had doubled in size,” said Carpenter.
Carpenter has had aggressive treatment including 24 chemotherapy treatments that lasted five to eight hours. “I also had to have a blood transfusion. There were other ‘hiccups’ as we call them along the way,” Carpenter said.
It wasn't until Carpenter had a double mastectomy, when she heard that she was finally cancer free. While on her way to cancer freedom, Carpenter learned of Relay of Life. She recalls her first walk around the track.
“It took me over a half an hour that year to walk a quarter mile. But with the help of my granddaughter and my daughter and other friends, we made it and I have been relaying ever since then,” said Carpenter.
She says that the positive results of having cancer are the friendships she has formed. Tomorrow we will talk to committee members on the eve of the 2019 Relay for Life.