Wood retells her breast cancer battle

Kyrin Lewis, Campus Currents

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October has rolled around again. That means that it is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer comes from the body’s cells forming threatening copies of themselves. This formation gives way to a tumor, which is an unhealthy grouping of harmful cells. Breast cancer has been linked to genetics, age, and overall dieting. It appears as a lump in a woman’s breast.

Music instructor Lesli Wood shared her story about her journey with breast cancer. She was found to have breast cancer in 2007 and is now in remission. She said that she had noticed a “sore place” in the right part of her chest, but she put it off as a result of her exercising. That same day, she came down with a small fever which she thought was a flu of some sort. On a visit to her general practitioner, Wood was reported to have breast cancer on her right side. During an MRI, another cancer had shown on her left side.

“I was very positive about everything,” Wood said. “My doctors were great. I still see them once a year.”
She went on to describe her experience with chemotherapy. Although nervous, Wood made good progress with her first treatment. “I slept a lot. It just kind of knocks you down, kind of like you’re in a dream.”

Wood goes on to describe her second and third treatments as difficult. She spoke of a special diet she had to follow.

“The lining of your intestines become very sensitive, so if you get an appetite for something, you better go get it then, because it might pass.”

She was required to go through four chemotherapy treatments that were 28 days apart. Wood added that the body needs those 28 days to recover.
Upon Wood’s return, science teacher Tiffany Moore orchestrated a welcoming in her honor and had t-shirts made to support her. Because of her chemotherapy sessions, Wood was not able to teach sometimes; so various members of the faculty took over her classes for her.

“I’m not ever bashful or hesitant to talk to anyone about it. If I can help, that’s what I like to do,” Wood said.

The American Cancer Society reports that breast cancer follows lung cancer in its deadliness, with more than 40,000 women dying from it each year. There are treatments to reduce the intensity of the cancer. A lumpectomy takes the tumor from the breast and a mastectomy takes away the breast itself. Finally, chemotherapy is done to follow up with the two previously mentioned procedures. To further increase awareness, Baton Rouge hosts the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and hosts the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk is set for October 22 at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

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