Statistics show one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime in her life. You don't ever think it could happen to you, but then you hear the words, you have breast cancer. For Kathleen Pence, the diagnosis was shocking.
Kathleen is one busy lady, a wife, mother of three and a lawyer! She works out, doing cross-fit and stays healthy by eating right. So earlier this year, when she found lumps in her breast, she really wasn't worried.
"I'm 41. I'm not old. This is the first lump I've ever found. In my mind, I'm thinking surely there are a thousand things it could be besides cancer," said Kathleen. "That was my mindset going in. So for them to come in and say we're 99, what did she say? We're 90-95% sure it's cancer without having to get the results back yet, it just floored me... I just couldn't believe it!"
Kathleen was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, a rare and aggressive form of the disease. She's been undergoing strong chemotherapy to kill the cancer.
Kathleen said, "You become very quickly familiar with and you assimilate into that world where you're talking about all the different drugs and treatments and how they interact and what do you have as opposed to what someone else has because all of ours are very different and all of them have different characteristics and so everybody's treatment plan is really their own treatment plan."
Kathleen has chosen not to wear a wig but proudly shows off her beautiful bald head!
"I've just gotten a lot of positive feedback and my husband was so impressed that I was just going out there without hair because he knows it's hard for a woman to lose her hair but he was like I'm so proud of you for just rockin' the bald head and just doing your thing so it's been good," Kathleen added.
It's taken her hair but not her will to beat this disease.
"I do think you do have to have the fighter mentality because it is a fight to me because there's something in my body that's trying to hurt me and I'm not going to let it do that," said Kathleen. "So I definitely think you have to go in thinking I'm going to do everything I can to stay healthy and to treat this cancer and to kill it and get rid of it!"
Kathleen will have surgery and knows she'll need to monitor her breast health for the rest of her life. She encourages others to stay aware, going in for regular checkups and getting your mammogram.
This year's Komen Tulsa Race for the Cure is Saturday, September 25th at River Spirit Casino Resort. Money raised will help with research and also fund programs to support patients with breast cancer.
Registration is still open for the race! You can form your own team or join LeAnne Taylor's.
You can find more information on how to take part by Clicking Here.