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Breast cancer survivor says regular checks can save a life

Mike Jaquays
Staff writer
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Posted 10/27/22

It was her children that she was worried about the most when breast cancer survivor Katie Waltermire received her diagnosis.

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Breast cancer survivor says regular checks can save a life

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ILION — It was her children that she was worried about the most when breast cancer survivor Katie Waltermire received her diagnosis.

“I was scared and nervous and worried about my kids losing their mom,” she recalled.

Waltermire said she was doing her own self-check in June 2021 when she discovered a lump in her breast. She then had chemotherapy treatments starting in August 2021 for six months, followed by a mastectomy in February 2022 and then radiation in April for 35 treatments. 

Helping her along her journey with breast cancer has been her boyfriend, John Monette, who she said was regularly right there after her chemotherapy treatments to help with dinner and the kids. Her sister and parents also gave Waltermire emotional support and listened when she needed to talk. 

“I am so proud of her,” her mom, Janet Stevens of Jordanville, complimented. “She continued to work throughout all of her treatments.”

Waltermire attended the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk to benefit the American Cancer Society for the first time last year and said she was able “to see and talk with other survivors who provided encouragement” there.

This past Sunday, she was joined by her children Ethan, 16, Tim, 14, and McKenzie, 10; Stevens; Monette; and her sister Joanna Marshall and her kids Brianna and Jaxson at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica for this year’s event.

Stevens said she was “thrilled” to be able to be there to support her daughter, and Waltermire appreciated all of the caregivers’ presence.

“It is so awesome to see everyone here with me today,” Waltermire said.

Today, Waltermire remains under the care of her oncologist in Oneida and at Sloan Kettering, as she has metastatic breast cancer in bones. She advises anyone newly diagnosed with breast cancer to seek a second opinion and to become their own advocate in whatever treatment they choose.

She also encourages regular checks, either by a medical professional or by yourself, to make early treatment possible.

“It’s so important to have a mammogram or self-breast exam,” Waltermire said. “It could save your life.”

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