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Parsons shares breast cancer battle story

| October 19, 2016
Christy Parsons from The Rusty Olde Crow battled breast cancer 10 years ago. Josie Sellers | Beacon

Christy Parsons from The Rusty Olde Crow battled breast cancer 10 years ago. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Ten years have gone by but Christy Parsons still remembers how she felt when she found out she had breast cancer.

“I cried,” she said. “I was really shocked and scared.”

Parsons felt the lump in her right breast herself while taking a shower and immediately sought treatment.

“It was stage four and the tumor was three centimeters long and just five months before that I had my mammogram,” she said. “When they told me it was stage four I knew I’d be in for a fight.”

Parsons ended up having a mastectomy on her right side, eight rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments.

“I remember when I was going through chemo that every time I’d just start to feel better it was time for another treatment,” she said.

Parsons chemotherapy was done at Coshocton Hospital, her radiation at Good Samaritan Hospital in Zanesville and her surgery at Bethesda Hospital in Zanesville.

“Chemo took three to four months and then I had 35 straight days of radiation,” she said. “It was every day to Zanesville for that.”

It was discovered that her tumor was estrogen fed so now she has to be on a pill the rest of her life to keep it from coming back. She also still has to see her chemo doctor every six months for blood work and other tests.

Breast cancer, however, wasn’t the only hurdle Parsons had to overcome during this period in her life.

“The cancer went from my breast to my thyroid and I had to have it out,” she said. “They kept seeing it on my PET scans, but they couldn’t do anything with it until after the breast cancer was dealt with.”

The cancer also spread to lymph nodes in her right arm and 26 of them had to be taken out.

“My right arm has no feeling so when I get blood work done it has to be in the other arm only,” Parsons said.

She credits her family for getting her through that tough time in her life.

“You got to have your family around you,” Parsons said.

Sometimes it’s hard to deal with the fact that she only has one breast, but Parsons doesn’t let it get her down for long.

“I tried reconstruction, but my incision was just so invasive,” she said. “It goes to my rib cage. I tried the expander, but radiation thins your skin and I was just tired of being cut on so I wear my prosthetic. The first time you see yourself in the shower it’s a shock, but most of the time now I’m good.”

She encourages all women to remember to get their mammograms and to do self exams.

“Breast cancer hits every age,” Parsons said. “I was only 43 when I was diagnosed.”



Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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