A Second Chance for Breast Cancer Survivor Sally Ann NisbergJul 26, 2019
In February 2011, during a chaotic time in Sally Ann’s life, she discovered a lump in her breast one evening. She had multiple biopsies and a mammogram that detected nothing after she felt the lump. Upon receiving a negative test result, she contacted Dr. Timothy Mark, requesting further tests. She received a sonogram and a biopsy, which ultimately revealed the malignant tumor. Her oncologist, Dr. Elisabeth McKeen, ordered MRI, CAT, and PET scans at Good Samaritan, where highly skilled professionals compassionately focused on her and her battle.
After receiving the Triple Negative Diagnosis, she was left with of six months of chemotherapy as her only option. She believes “the sting of learning we have breast cancer immobilizes us and interferes with our ability to think, to act, to initially even feel safe enough to believe we have the choice or resources to live.” Her tumor was highly irregular and fast growing, and she says Dr. Rimmer played an enormous role in leading her through the process, ensuring the tumor was removed and examined as soon as possible, allowing Dr. McKeen's treatment plan to start.
She also chose to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction to further her chances of winning her battle with breast cancer. Sally Ann had her follow up procedures at Good Samaritan Medical Center. She is very appreciative to her doctors for guiding and supporting her during her journey to becoming cancer-free. Her doctors speed, precision, and kindness have allowed her to have a second chance at life, and she has been cancer-free since March 15, 2011.
If she could tell her doctors anything, she would say “Your commitment, experience, skill, compassion, and calmness is everything we survivors need and deserve as we accept our diagnosis and step forward in assessing our pathology and planning our treatment”. Sally Ann urges others dealing with cancer to “allow yourselves to trust others, feel safe enough to understand your pathology, explore your options, make decisions, and honor who you are.”
Five of her relatives were diagnosed right after her own diagnosis, and she believes communication and awareness are key. Throughout her treatment she practiced as much yoga as she could and continues to do something active every day. She even completed training with the intent of inspiring survivors to carefully take care of themselves physically. She’s now an advocate, author, speaker, and podcast host. Her experience inspired her to share her story which led her to develop her own book titled Live Like Crazy.