Celebrating Survivorship

Celebrating Survivorship

By Kristen Wells
Woman’s Cancer Pavilion Patient

It is the words no one wants to hear: “Unfortunately, it is breast cancer.”

In May 2021, at only 37 years old and never having had a mammogram, this was shocking news for my family and me. I quickly realized I could not change my diagnosis, but with my amazing family and friends as a support system, I decided that I would look at the positive and begin my fight to beat this.

Being in this profession as a radiologic technologist and educator for almost 16 years now, I had some comfort in knowing that some of the exams and procedures I would be getting were ones I was familiar with. I immediately had surgery to remove the cancerous mass followed by chemotherapy and radiation.

There were many things that gave me strength, primarily being my support system and tons of prayer. To keep in good spirits, my husband and I began doing TikTok videos to celebrate each treatment that was completed. Ending the day with joy and positivity was something everyone looked forward to, especially after my chemotherapy treatments. I was humbled at the amount of people that voiced their support, love and prayers for my journey

I also wore a pair of light up shoes, known as my cancer fighting shoes, to every appointment and treatment. I have now healed from surgery, successfully completed my 12 rounds of chemotherapy, as well as my four weeks of radiation therapy, and I am happy to say I am feeling great and cancer free! I continue to use my experience to teach and encourage others to fight no matter their battle. I am also in the beginning stages of writing a children’s book to hopefully help children of cancer patients understand their role in their loved one’s battle.

My story has been featured on several of my professional organization’s media sites and I hope that it will continue to be an inspiration to others.

Kristen will serve as Grand Marshal in this year’s Celebrate Life Car Parade being held at noon on Friday, Sept. 30 at Woman’s Hospital, in partnership with Mary Bird Perkins and Our Lady of the Lake. Supporters are welcomed to attend and cheer on our survivors at designated cheering spaces shown on parade route map.