(WLNS) – Nancy’s story began as many do, by finding a lump.
“It was just there I asked my husband about it and I asked my husband about it and he didn’t think much of it at the time and we just kind of let it go,” said Nancy Berger, breast cancer survivor.
She went to the doctor weeks later for a regularly scheduled visit. It was there that her doctor ordered a mammogram, an ultrasound and later a biopsy.
“When we went into the biopsy we just figured it was one of those things, a random lump. Coming out of the biopsy we were able to tell, we knew, the surgeon was able to tell us that we he had concerns.”
Nancy and her husband knew at that time that it was breast cancer and they knew they wanted to be treated close to home at Allegiance Health in Jackson.
“So she had a mix of cancers, an invasive Ductal Carcinoma, which is the most common type of breast cancer, in combination with an insitual cancer, which is a dormant cancer that can develop into an invasive cancer,” said Annette Kretzler, MD, Nancy’s doctor.
On the first day of treatment she cried.
“There’s this woman standing here with biohazard gear on putting this into my body and that moment, it’s another moment of clarity of how overwhelming this whole process is,” said Nancy.
But on the last, she celebrated.
“At that point my hair which I had lost had just started coming back so I had very little hair, so I had my little tiara on and my pink fairy skirt and my wand and my glitter shoes and I was told no one had ever dressed up for their final chemo and I said I think I wanted to celebrate that day.”
Nancy says that from the results of her genomic testing and due to the fact that she is not taking anti-hormonal medicine, she now lives with about a 20 percent chance of the cancer returning.
Which is why she now she lives day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute. Never to take a moment for granted again.
“We work on having an attitude of gratitude for what we have in this present moment and sometimes that’s all we can do,” said Nancy.
Nancy now teaches yoga classes in Jackson and she is working to keep a positive mind-set every day by living fully in the moment.
Our special Friends For Life series continues Wednesday on 6 News at 6. Former MSU women’s basketball player and Lansing native Lauren Aitch uses her passion for fashion to raise awareness for early breast cancer detection. 6 Sports Audrey Dahlgren will have that story.