Judy Gill Shares Story of Survival - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Judy Gill Shares Story of Survival

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Judy Gill was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in December 2007.

"I had been working out at the Wellness Center and on my way back to the hospital, I fell, and when I fell, my breast hit the concrete and kind of bruised my left breast," Gill said.

She said she noticed a lump but didn't think much about it, but it just so happened to be time for her mammogram.  Her doctor told her it was probably just a bruise.

"Well it wasn't that," Gill said. "They did find it was a tumor on my left side."

In the nine months that followed, Gill went through rounds of two different types of chemo for four months, underwent a double mastectomy and had 35 rounds of radiation.

"I am now considered a five year breast cancer survivor," Gill said.  "That was Aug. 7 of this year.

She said the first chemo treatment taken the day after Christmas wasn't that bad.

"I told my physician I said, 'Are you sure you gave me some chemo?' He said, 'Yeah. Just wait.' And that 2nd one, it really kicked me," she recalled.

Gill suffered from normal symptoms of chemotherapy treatment including tiredness, nausea and constantly having a metallic taste in her mouth.

"One interesting thing I'd not heard people that I know that had cancer, I did lose my fingernails and my toenails in the 2nd round of chemo that I had," Gill said.

She said one of the most memorable parts of her experience was losing her hair, but a friend of hers, a beautician, helped her through it.

"You get tired of seeing the hair fall in your shower and have those clumps of hair, so I called her and said I'm ready," Gill said.  "So she shaved my head for me. Those are kind of days you don't forget."

Instead of feeling down about losing her hair, she insisted on staying positive.

"By wearing a wig, I got to sleep 20 minutes extra because I did not have to fix my hair," Gill said.  "For ladies, they will appreciate this, I didn't have to shave my legs for six months."

She said an important part of healing for her was trusting her doctors with her life.

"Whatever my physicians suggested and told me, I listened," Gill said.  "I read, and I felt very comfortable with what my physicians told me to do. I think by listening and abiding with what they said, I think that's why I was one of the ones that did survive."

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