Cancer survivor stays positive

Published 7:19 pm Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jeannette Creekmore survived cancer four years ago, and now she participates in Relay for Life to show others they can survive cancer, too.
“You can beat cancer,” she said. “I think a lot of it is your attitude.”

Creekmore, 72, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2013.

“I was having my mammogram every year, and then somehow one year it slipped,” she said. “I didn’t realize several years had gone by. You just get busy.”

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One day, the radiology unit called her and asked her to come in for her mammogram, since she hadn’t had one in a while.

She was called back for a second mammogram, then asked to stay that day for an ultrasound.

“It took longer than normal,” she said. Then the technician went to get the radiologist. “I knew right then it was not good,” she said.

As it turned out, the reason she was called back turned out to be nothing. But the ultrasound technician had located another lump, which was biopsied and found to be cancerous.

“You know in your mind that people get cancer, but when somebody tells you you have cancer, you feel like you’re the only one,” Creekmore said.

She had a partial mastectomy and seed radiation, which avoids damage to the heart and lungs by targeting the area closer to the tumor.

Since her treatment ended, Creekmore has been spreading the message of positivity. She believes her positive thinking had something to do with her survival.

“When I was told I had cancer, I could see myself on the other side being a cured person,” she said. “I just knew I had to get from point A to point Z. I had to go through the process, but I knew I was going to be fine.”

Creekmore is a member of a support group at Sentara Obici Hospital and said she Relays to show others they can beat cancer.

“When you go out there and walk, you’re showing people you can get past cancer,” she said.

This year’s Relay for Life of Suffolk will be held at Nansemond River High School on Friday, May 19, from 6 p.m. to midnight.

There is a fundraising goal of $200,000. So far, about $35,000 has been raised.

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