Kathryn Boyd Loftus
I was diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer, Her2 positive, on a Tuesday in November 2003 & had my lumpectomy & lymph node dissection three days later. I was shocked because it had only been 9 months since my last clear mammogram! I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t wanted to get back on a fall schedule for mammograms. I was determined that the diagnosis and treatment would only interrupt, but not control, my life. I found that I wanted to savor every moment of life, knowing how quickly it could be wrenched away! I especially did not want my kids’ memories of school (11 & 14) to be overshadowed by my cancer. So, we traveled and I attended school events and games while working around my chemo schedule. It was a challenge because I received 6 months of Adriamyicin, Cytocin and Taxol. (I would NOT let anyone say anything negative about the drugs and meditated that they were healing my body & they did!) I also was blessed to be in the groundbreaking clinical trial for Herceptin (which I’m convinced saved my life!) It was thought to have perhaps a 2% effect in preventing recurrence but in fact reduced recurrence by 52%!! I had weekly infusions for a year, starting during my Taxol cycle of chemo. I also had five years of oral hormone therapy. I’m so blessed to be here 14+ years later. I started volunteering and fundraising for Komen after my treatment ended in 2005, raising $202,000 (and still going) for the DC Race for the Cure & fielding teams for the Races every year. I was Chair of the Survivor Committee for three years and a member as soon as I could join, after being Survivor of the Year in 2012. I have also supported & counseled many through diagnosis and treatment, offering hope and my story. I’m so blessed and truly want others to have the same outcome and the same chance to enjoy life to the fullest! It’s such a gift!