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Cancer Survivor Story - Shaun Lacy Ward

First came the support, then the hope. That was the prescription that worked for Shaun Ward during her cancer journey. She counts herself lucky that her support system was there for every step of the way and covered all the bases.

Shaun’s mom came in from Detroit to help take care of her younger children. Knowing they were supported and that they were going to be ok meant she could push through and keep up the fight for them.

A trio tagged along to Shaun’s many appointments and treatments – her mom and husband plus her oldest son, also named Shaun. Her church family was there too, and one friend in particular helped Shaun feel and look her best with new wigs, lifting her spirits in the process.

Then there was the tribe of women she found. During chemotherapy treatments, Shaun lost her hair and was struggling. She was connected with a survivor support group and starting meeting regularly with other women. Shaun says that’s where she got some hope and saw that cancer was not a death sentence.

Diagnosed at age 44, Shaun had received mammograms prior. But one day she noticed some tenderness in her breast so she visited her primary care doctor. Next a mammogram was ordered, and doctors found a quarter-size nodule. Over a period of six months, she had surgery, chemo and radiation on her path to being cancer free.

Shaun says that going through cancer brought an awareness to always listen to her body. She says she used to just “go go go” and now she’s learned to be proactive about her health, slow down, and take care of herself.

To others who may be going through a similar journey, Shaun’s best advice is, of course, to follow doctor’s orders, and just as important, to stay focused and have a positive mindset. “If you get distracted, you can get discouraged, so remain hopeful, no matter how you feel,” she says.