She's a Fighter

Thursday, October 25, 2018

No one wants to hear: you have cancer.

Just a couple months ago, Wanda Chevele Wright was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 46.

“I woke one day, and I knew something wasn’t right,” Wright said. She felt an unusual pain near her armpit, and it wouldn’t go away. She made the decision to go see a doctor within the week.

Her primary doctor said “I’m concerned and worried” and urged her to get a mammogram followed by a biopsy.

“I needed to know what was wrong,” Wright said. “I wasn’t exactly scared because deep down I knew it was something.”

.Just after she had her first biopsy, Wright received a phone call with the results.

After that, her life changed. She immediately met with doctors who said her cancer was “rare and complicated.”

They couldn’t exactly tell her what was wrong. She described that to be the worst part.

“Having to wait and not knowing exactly what’s wrong tears you up,” Wright said. “I knew after that first appointment my life would change.”

The doctors ran more tests and finally gave Wright the news. Get the surgery first or start chemotherapy.

She was exhausted from multiple doctor visits and the constant driving back and forth to the Cancer Institute in Columbia.

“I know this would be a challenge, but I didn’t expect to be this tired,” Wright said. “I just needed some downtime to get myself together.”

She discussed the pros and cons with a team of doctors, and she opted to start chemotherapy.

“I think at first the side effects worried me more than anything,” Wright said. “I knew I wanted to get better, but everything was just so new to me.”

Wright started chemo a few weeks ago, and she immediately saw a change in her body.

The day of chemo, she was fine. It wasn’t until a couple days after she felt drained. Her hair had fallen out too.

“The doctors said chemo affects everyone differently. I hoped my hair wouldn’t fall out,” Wright said. “Now, I can save money on shampoo.”

Despite being diagnosed, Wright has tried to keep a positive outlook on life. She is definitely a fighter. Her daily routine hasn’t exactly changed other than working in the doctor visits.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve let this stop me, but I can definitely see the limitations now after chemo,” Wright said.

She described one of her limitations as being exhausted to where she sleeps a lot more. Due to her immune system, the doctors have encouraged her to stay at home while she continues her treatments.

“It’s safer that way. I don’t mind staying home, so I try to keep myself busy,” Wright said. “I’ve figured out that some days are better than others, but being busy helps.”

Wright has recently stopped her chemo treatments due to her blood count level. The doctors have said her body is not breaking down cancer as it should.

“I will not let this stop me. You can’t let cancer break you,” Wright said.