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21st Century Oncology Blog

Apple A Day

21st Century Oncology Blog

Celebrating Nancy Stamm: A Cancer Survivor Who Wants Others to Learn from her Mistakes

May 31, 2019

A Cancer Survivor

At 21st Century Oncology, we know that it takes a fighting spirit and strong support system to beat cancer. We’re with our patients in that fight every step of the way. It’s why our rallying cry is “we fight for you like an army and care for you like a family.” While we celebrate our patients for being warriors every day, we want to give special recognition today—National Cancer Survivor’s Day.

Almost everyone will be touched by cancer at some point in life. If you’re just starting off down that road, a cancer diagnosis can be scary and isolating. When survivors share their stores, they give hope to those who are struggling with an early diagnosis.

On National Cancer Survivor’s Day, we are sharing the story of cancer survivor, Nancy Stamm. Nancy fought uterine cancer and won. Today, she implores others to learn from her mistake: Get checked out at the earliest sign of symptoms.

What follows is our conversation with Nancy Stamm.

Geoffrey Moore: What were you diagnosed with?

Nancy Stamm: Uterine cancer stage III a.  I had gone through menopause and some things were happening with my body that weren’t normal. I went to see my gynecologist who sent me in for several tests. At first, I was stunned after hearing the diagnosis.  I eventually moved into the acceptance phase and thought, “what’s next?” I knew I had to take it one day at a time. I was just lucky that my entire family and co-workers supported me and helped me through it.”

Geoffrey Moore: What was your biggest challenge after your diagnosis?

Nancy Stamm: Chemotherapy.  It was the most physically and emotionally challenging thing I’ve ever had to do.  It started with three rounds of chemo and, by the third round, I was so worn out I couldn’t even get out of a chair.  It knocked me down for a good two to three weeks afterward.  My next step was radiation. I went to Dr. Crook at 21st Century Oncology.  He was so nice and comforting. Radiation was a breeze…I told Dr. Crook that I would take radiation over chemotherapy any day. I am now officially in remission…and that works just great for me.

Geoffrey Moore: If you could go back, is there anything that you would’ve done differently?

Nancy Stamm: I would not have waited so long to go to the doctor when my body started telling me things were wrong.  I definitely waited too long.  If I had caught it earlier, I wouldn’t have had to go through chemo. They would’ve just performed a hysterectomy with a small bout of radiation.  It could’ve saved me a lot of anguish.

Geoffrey Moore: What words of wisdom can you give to those newly diagnosed or family members with those that are newly diagnosed?

Nancy Stamm: The longer you wait, the more something can progress—so make sure you get things checked out as quickly as you can.  Even if you feel that it might not be that important, get it checked out anyway. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.

Geoffrey Moore: What’s the key to beating cancer?

Nancy Stamm: Take everything one day at a time and don’t worry about the end results.  Focus on what is happening today and how you can help get your body back to normal. Focus on YOU and getting better one day at a time.  I would also just like to say thank you to Dr. Merchant and his office, and Dr. Crook at 21st Century Oncology and the Nurses – they were fantastic. Last but not least—my family and co-workers— who are so supportive.

On this day, we recognize and celebrate all of those who have fought and survived any type of cancer. 21st Century Oncology is here for you every step of the way. And we share Nancy’s diagnosis story with you, so you know you are not alone through this fight. Life after cancer is something worth celebrating!