Survivor Stories: Baton Rouge woman battles breast cancer with confidence
BATON ROUGE - Shaun Ward is a survivor.
In 2009, she decided to schedule a doctor’s appointment after discovering an abnormality on her breast. Later that day, she was diagnosed with cancer.
“I remember riding home that afternoon after leaving the doctor’s office and I was waiting for that call," Ward said. "I finally got the call from my doctor and she said 'Are you sitting down?' I say, 'Well, no I’m riding.' And she gave me the news and I kind of freaked out."
Ward says paying attention to her body and being proactive once she discovered the lump may have saved her life.
“I was like in the first segment of the diagnosis, which was a blessing in disguise because they were able to catch it just as it started to grow," she said. "Sometimes we just really have to stop and listen to our bodies and they will tell us what’s going on."
She also credits her children for being caring and loving while supporting their mom throughout her battle with breast cancer.
“I think that’s my reason for survival, my children," she said. "They were my support, even though the three younger ones did not quite understand. They knew that there was something I had to endure to get through to be healthy again.”
She says her own confidence rounded out her support team and made it a point to look her best even when she didn’t feel like her normal self.
“Every time I went to an appointment, my doctor would always tell me, 'You don’t look like somebody that’s battling cancer,'" she said. "I guess it amazed him so much that he put me into a fashion show, so I was really excited about that.”
Not only did Ward get to serve her looks on the runway, but it also gave her a chance to connect with other survivors while she was still battling cancer.
“It gave me more confidence, it gave me some morale to look forward to how it’s going to be when I do beat this thing, and so I corralled around these women and I just made them my second family," she said.
Ward says her journey with cancer has helped her appreciate all of life’s gifts that were often overlooked as ordinary tasks.
“Those things that I did not value, that I took for granted, I no longer take for granted," she said. "Waking up every morning healthy, being able to get a drink of water on my own, being able to go about my daily tasks, my activities and not having to have the assistance of someone doing those things for me.”
Fourteen years ago Ward was surprised when she received her diagnosis, and now she is happy, healthy, and living her best life as a breast cancer survivor.
“My name is Shaun Lacy Ward, I am a mother, I’m an aunt, I’m a sister, I’m a grandmother and I am a survivor.”
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