Barbara Walker – 2015 Ambassador
Barbara currently works for Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. She is the proud mother of four and grandmother of six. In her free time, Barbara enjoys reading mysteries, watching movies, baking, going on cruises, playing games and entertaining friends.
After finding a lump in her breast in December 2001, Barbara received a breast exam from her family practitioner which was followed by an exam and biopsy. The results showed no signs of cancer. Following a brief period of relief, Barbara continued to question the results. She knew something was wrong. She insisted on having another procedure to verify the results. Barbara’s persistency was well worth it. The second biopsy showed something she knew shouldn’t there and the doctor confirmed. In September 2002, nearly ten months after her initial finding, Barbara was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the support of prayer and family, Barbara proceeded to have a lumpectomy in addition to giving consent for a mastectomy if they were not able to remove the entire growth with clear margins. Following the surgery, Barbara underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy. Before undergoing 31 rounds of radiation, Barbara went on a cruise to celebrate her healing and the completion of her surgery and chemo.
Twelve years later, Barbara is still cancer-free. Her journey was challenging and resulted in heart issues from chemo and radiation; however, without her persistence in diagnosis and strength during treatment, she would not be alive today. Barbara is grateful for all she has endured because it has made her appreciate life more than ever.
Barbara’s takeaway message for others:
“You are your own best advocate because no one knows your body better than you do. Do your monthly breast exams and be diligent in your follow up for clinical exams and testing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get information. That is the best source of your power and control over your medical well-being.”
City: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date of diagnosis: September 2002
Diagnosis: Terminal Stage 4 Bone Metastasis