Christy Cutler’s heart attack symptoms at the office where she worked ended up leading to a breast cancer diagnosis in May 2018.
Christy Cutler’s heart attack symptoms at the office where she worked ended up leading to a breast cancer diagnosis in May 2018. The 39-year-old had experienced a tightening in her chest and a tingling sensation in her arm. Her boss called 911, and she was transported to Memorial Medical Center where they ran a battery of tests.
While the results didn’t show evidence of a heart attack, a CT scan detected an abnormality in her right breast, and she was encouraged to schedule a mammogram immediately. Within a week, she underwent a 3D mammogram. After the mammogram, they decided to perform a sonogram, which led to an immediate biopsy. Two days later she received the results: a Stage 2 cancer diagnosis.
“I was surprised and almost in a state of disbelief,” Christy said. “Cancer doesn’t run in my family. How could I have it? I am so young. Why me? Yet, at the same time, I was encouraged and hopeful as I had God’s promise that He would see me through it all.”
Christy went through treatment and several surgeries, finishing up in August of 2019. Unfortunately in October, abdominal issues revealed another cancer diagnosis with a legion on her liver. Once again, Christy was fighting for her life, but she had lots of support from the teams at Memorial.
She raves about the employees who assisted during her initial testing, surgeries and weeks of radiation. The team at Interventional Radiology removed the cancer while she regards the MMC valet team like “my big brothers’ for encouraging her every morning. Christina Tucker, RN, cancer center patient navigator, played a pivotal role as well.
“I had met Chrissy Tucker at the very beginning of my journey because she was a nurse for my surgeon,” said Christy. “I was excited to learn she had transitioned to a nurse navigator position with MMC. We had developed a friendship, and I knew she truly cared about me.”
Chrissy alerted Christy to a variety of support resources including the Breast Cancer Assistance Fund, which helped purchase gift cards for groceries and gas on a regular basis. She also directed Christy to counseling to support her mental and emotional well-being.
Today, after a fierce and courageous battle, Christy is in remission from stage 4 metastatic breast cancer with metastasis to the liver. She encourages others fighting cancer to concentrate on maintaining a positive attitude even when the situation looks bleak.
“Stay positive. Stay strong,” she said. “Focus on yourself, your well-being, your mental health and your needs. It is okay to have bad days. We are warriors and so much stronger for the battle. You are not alone.”
For more information about Memorial’s hospital foundations and their breast cancer assistance funds, visit the following websites:
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation
Decatur Memorial Foundation
Memorial Medical Center Foundation
Passavant Area Hospital Foundation
Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation