McCoun develops breast cancer at 35

| October 19, 2016

COSHOCTON – Julie McCoun was just 35 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2012, McCoun had a lumpectomy that came back benign, and when the lump returned in 2015, McCoun’s doctor thought it was calcification from the previous lump. After a biopsy was performed as a precaution, they found two separate lumps with two lumps hidden behind each one. On Dec. 29, 2015, McCoun found out she had Stage 1A Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

“I just had this feeling that it was cancer,” she said. “The night before I went to the doctor, they kept showing those St. Jude ads on TV and I took that as kind of an omen. But I was still shocked and upset when they told me.”

McCoun said her family was shocked when she told them the news.

“The first person I told was my mom,” she said. “She was shocked too. My husband was in total disbelief. He couldn’t believe it because it didn’t run in my family.”

McCoun’s husband, Daniel, and two sons, Jay and Ethan supported her throughout the whole process.

“Every day, Ethan would ask me, ‘Are you okay, Mom? Do you need anything?’” she said. “Jay kept telling me, ‘You’re going to be fine, Mom. You’re going to beat this.’ My husband was with me every step of the way. He worked midnights and he’d get home at 6:00 and we’d have to be at Genesis at 8:00 and he never missed one of my chemo treatments. He stayed with me the whole time.”

On Jan. 8, McCoun had a port put in so that chemo could be given to her through the port instead of through an IV. She started treatment on Jan. 13, which included two medicines, Adriamycin and Taxol.

“The Adriamycin is awful,” she said. “That’s the one they call the red devil because it makes you so sick. The fifth and sixth day after chemo was always the worst for me. I would just be so tired and nauseous.”

Cancer wasn’t the only problem McCoun had to confront. During that time, she also had a blood clot due to the port placement and gallstones two weeks later.

McCoun said that through it all, she experienced bone pain, lost her fingernails and toenails, lost her hair, had migraines, couldn’t taste food, and it also brought on menopause.

“There were days I was positive, and then there were days behind closed doors that I’d break down and want to throw in the towel,” she said.

McCoun is now in remission and had her last chemo treatment on April 20. She had a double mastectomy on May 18, which removed all of her cancer cells. Weeks later when she had plastic surgery to increase her breast size, she developed an infection due to the expanders, so she had to have them removed.

McCoun’s doctors said that reoccurrence of another cancer scare is low, but could happen and would most likely happen in her brain, bones, or ovaries if it occurred again.

McCoun said that she hasn’t worked a whole month all year, but that her co-workers at Coshocton County Memorial Hospital have been very supportive, especially her friend Jenelle Clark.

“She was there every step of the way and came to visit me in the hospital and was constantly checking on me,” she said. “I don’t know what I’d have done without her.”

McCoun now advocates not waiting until 40 years old to get a mammogram.

“It can happen to anybody,” she said. “Get it checked, even if you feel the smallest lump, get it checked.”

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

Comments are closed.