Ruby Thornton’s victory over breast cancer gave her a new perspective on life and the wisdom to not take anything for granted. For her, victory is being able to continue to do all the things she has always loved. Only now, she treasures those things even more.
Because of several different health issues throughout her life, Ruby made breast self-examinations and annual mammograms a priority. Her commitment to performing routine exams helped provide a strong understanding of what was normal for her body. So, when she discovered an unusual knot, she knew to seek immediate medical attention.
The journey begins
Her doctor called her with the life-altering news that she had breast cancer. Understanding the potential for devastation, Ruby knew that to fight her fight she had to keep her spirits high and surround herself with systems of support. For her, support came immediately via her faith and family. But Ruby soon learned of another rock on which to lay the foundation of her fight — her doctors.
“When I heard the news, I didn’t cry,” Ruby said. “I thought I would cry hysterically, but I turned to my faith to put myself at ease, and it helped me get through the toughest of times.”
As Ruby began her treatment process, she quickly realized she had another support system in her team of physicians, including the Longstreet Clinic Cancer Center team and Dr. Geoffrey Weidner with the Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Radiation Oncology team.
“All of my doctors were so good to me. When I was lost and didn’t know what to expect, Dr. Lahiry and Dr. Strom always went the extra mile to put me at ease,” Ruby said, referring to Dr. Anup Lahiry, a medical oncologist with Longstreet Clinic Cancer Center, and Dr. Priscilla Strom, a general surgeon and breast specialist at Longstreet Clinic. “They treated like more than one of their patients. They treated me like family, and I thank the Lord for them.”
Even though Ruby enjoyed the good fortune of maintaining a fairly normal lifestyle throughout her chemotherapy treatments, ringing the victory bell was one of her proudest moments.
“It’s that moment when you truly realize you have been given a new beginning, and you get to decide what victory will look like for you,” Ruby said.