Admire The Survivors

Uintah Basin Healthcare partnered with Urban Tulip Studios and Ooh Lala & Friends to develop this campaign, featuring five incredible breast cancer survivors from the Basin. These women were treated to a makeover and studio session, capturing their true inner and outer beauty. The purpose of this campaign is to inspire other women to be comfortable in their own skin whether they have any form of cancer or anything that has caused their body to look different from how society says we should look.
 
Did you know… in 2019, an estimated 270,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. At this time there are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Early detection is key. To view guidelines from the American Cancer Society, click here.
 
Breast cancer is sometimes found after symptoms appear, but many women with breast cancer have no symptoms. This is why regular breast cancer screening including breast self-exams, clinical breast exams and mammograms are so important. Call to schedule your annual check-up today. (Women’s Health: 435.722.4652 or 435.781.2030  I  Women’s Imaging for Mammography: 435.725.2081)
 
DID U KNOW? We now offer Cancer Care Services. From chemotherapy to care planning, you’ll receive individualized support from our local cancer care team and Intermountain Healthcare oncologists via telehealth. Learn more!
 
Learn more about the cancer journey stories of these five incredible women…

Destiny

I have to say I have a lot of regrets from this stage in my life, I was so focused on what others would think of me that I forgot who I was or what I wanted to become. I'm mad at myself because I don't have hardly any pictures of me within the year I was going through treatment. Now looking back at some of the few pictures I took I realized that I was beautiful, and I should have embraced my look no matter how ugly I felt that day.... [read more]

Hello, my name is Destiny Vernon and I was diagnosed with stage 2b breast cancer on October 17, 2016 at the age of 20. Being only 20 was a real struggle for me because I wasn’t even thinking about medical stuff at that stage in life. I had just bought a 2012 Toyota Tacoma two weeks before being diagnosed and I had chosen to not have the insurance put on the vehicle in case something were to happen to me. I worked full time at my job where I was a manager and couldn’t even imagine leaving or taking time off to get through everything.

The first stage in my journey was to decide on whether or not I wanted to have my eggs stored to be later used for getting pregnant. My doctor told me there was a 50 percent chance that I could go through menopause while going through chemotherapy. I had to sit down with my mom and really think about it because it’s very expensive and the insurance agencies won’t pay for it. We decided to do it once we found this place online that will actually pay for half of the process.All I had to do was come up with the other portion. I was able to do this through donations and fundraising.

The hardest part about chemo wasn’t being sick all the time, no the hardest part was losing my hair. I have to admit I was lucky… my two best friends were hairdressers and they offered to dye my hair bright pink for the cause, which was just what I needed for some confidence. But then my hair started coming out in chunks. Hand full after hand full of just pink hair no matter how softly I touched it. Not only was my hair falling out, but my eyebrow hair and eye lashes were also coming out. I was living in a whole new world and I had to figure out how I was going to adjust to such a big change. I had to adjust my entire image and the way I looked at myself and had to realize people were going to see me as sickly.

After chemo I had a double mastectomy which I chose was the best option for me because of how young I was, and I didn’t ever want to go through this again. One of the hardest decisions was whether I wanted to keep one boob for breast feeding or not. My doctors highly did not recommend it and I decided that it was a better idea for me to just cut them both off.

I eventually had another surgery but this time it was reconstruction. I hated my new boobs. They didn’t sit the same I didn’t have any nipples and they looked awkward. I gained weight throughout the year it took for me to recover and I couldn’t imagine what my future husband would think about me and how different I was. The process was a lot and it took time but I’m so grateful for how my boobs turned out. The scars I have from surgery are there forever and a constant reminder that I went through something hard.

I have to say I have a lot of regrets from this stage in my life, I was so focused on what others would think of me that I forgot who I was or what I wanted to become. I’m mad at myself because I don’t have hardly any pictures of me within the year I was going through treatment. Now looking back at some of the few pictures I took I realized that I was beautiful, and I should have embraced my look no matter how ugly I felt that day.

Today I feel like a whole new person. I am totally happy with my life and beyond proud of myself for going through what I have been through. I’m currently in a happy relationship and we’re happy to say that in October we are going to see if we can try and have a baby.

Nancy

I am a cancer survivor of 16 ½ years. It started with the detection of a lump, which I felt in my right breast about the size of a nickel. I immediately got an appointment with Dr. Stewart, and Dr. Pederson, a surgeon at UBMC who performed the lumpectomy.

I am a cancer survivor of 16 ½ years. It started with the detection of a lump, which I felt in my right breast about the size of a nickel. I immediately got an appointment with Dr. Stewart, and Dr. Pederson, a surgeon at UBMC who performed the lumpectomy.

I planned on returning the day after the surgery to my kindergarten class at East Elementary in Roosevelt, Utah. I knew from the clock on the wall in recovery that something was not right because of the length of time which had passed! Family members began to arrive, along with many doctors standing in the hall as I was rolled to my room and my husband and myself were told by Dr. Pederson that I had a positive lymph node under my right arm. A CT scan was then performed showing a spot by my right lung and a spot above my right kidney, both of which made my diagnosis “stage 4” squamous cell breast cancer! I was told by Dr. Pederson to “enjoy Christmas with my family, as it would probably be my last!”

Dr. Greg Staker, a good friend, had an appointment for me at Huntsman Cancer Institute within the week and my “fight” began. Squamous Cell cancer of the breast is “rare” plus “stage 4” and Huntsman went along with not giving much hope, if any.

A good oncologist friend from Scottsdale, AZ called my doctor at Huntsman, after two months had passed, still not knowing “what to do”. Then, the University of Utah hospital said two spots were “not cancer”.

A day after Christmas I had my tonsils out, doctors still looking for “places cancer had spread” Nothing! Our good friend Dr. Shaw told Dr. Ackerly “If she were my patient, I would give her 8 cycles of chemotherapy, followed by 35 days of radiation”. Dr. Ackerly said “sounds good to me”!

Here I am today, so thankful and grateful for so many blessings!!

Kim

Cancer is a hard pill to swallow and a difficult road for anyone. Cancer is a disease that stuns most and has taken too many. My heart goes out to anyone who has ever had to walk the path of cancer because it's not an easy one. I urge all women to get checked for this deadly disease… and do not wait.… [read more]

My name is Kim. I am 34 years old, engaged to be married, and I have two boys ages ten and four. My fiancé has 5 children, and together we are a happy family of 9.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer one week after my 34th birthday. On October 3, 2018 I went into the doctor for a completely different reason, but I had had this lump in my breast for a while (longer than I should have ignored), I had an order to get testing and samples of the tissue.

I had to wait 3 days to get the results back and those were the longest 3 days ever, waiting for those results. I hoped the tumor I had was just benign, but something inside me told me that it was cancer. On October the 8th, It was confirmed that I did in fact have breast cancer, Stage 3, Invasive Ductile Carcinoma,

The beginning of November I had a biopsy done on my lymph nodes to see if the cancer had spread; the results came back and it showed negative. My doctor said we were ok to go ahead with surgery, so on Nov 16 I had a double masectomy, because chances of getting it in the other were 18%. During surgery they removed 9 of my lymph nodes (If cancer is in your lymph nodes it is a channel to the rest of your body/organs) and it was found that cancer had spread to 3/9 of them. My doctor was crushed as was my family and I.

I started my first round of Chemo on December 19th 2018, and finished my last on March 27th 2019. I also had 5 weeks of Radiation and ended on June 24th 2019 .

Cancer is a hard pill to swallow and a difficult road for anyone. Cancer is a disease that stuns most and has taken too many. My heart goes out to anyone who has ever had to walk the path of cancer because it’s not an easy one. I urge all women to get checked for this deadly disease… and do not wait.

Amanda

I have known a couple of people that cancer won against and it doesn't seem fair. It is emotionally hard to deal with as a survivor. I have learned so much through this journey. I learned that staying positive is one of the best treatments for dealing with anything in life. Find something that makes you smile everyday.… [read more]

My name is Amanda Greenhow. I was born and raised in Vernal, Ut and love it here. I have a 12-year old daughter named Ashlynn. I am so blessed to be her mom. We have had quite the journey and it’s been a blast so far. Not to say there hasn’t been hard times. I would like to share one of those hard times in hopes to inspire someone out there who might be going through the same thing.

In Oct 2011 I went to a normal routine check-up. I had felt a lump and asked about it, but the doctor said it was just a cyst and not to worry about it. He said it should go away. A couple of months had past and it was still there and getting bigger, so I decided to get a second opinion. The second doctor decided to do a mammogram and an ultrasound. Both of those showed something, but it was unclear what it was. I had to get a biopsy to see what it was. That was one of the most painful procedures I have ever had done.

The following Monday was Martin Luther King Day. That day changed my life. The doctor’s office called and asked if I could come in and talk to them. I remember asking if they could just tell me over the phone. Unfortunately, they couldn’t.

We headed to the doctor’s office wondering what they could possibly have to say. I was an overall healthy woman. When we got there, they called me back and told me I had breast cancer. I was only 29. I was a mom. I worked full time and I was going to school. I don’t have time to have cancer, nor can I afford it. Guess what – cancer doesn’t care.·

The next few weeks were crazy; full of trips to Provo for doctor appointments to find out what stage of cancer I had and the best treatment plan. My breast cancer was stage 2, but had a factor that made it a little more aggressive, so we had to move quickly.

I had to have surgery at the end of January to remove the lump and get a port so I could get chemo treatments. Everything went well during surgery, but when I went back for a check-up the doctor was concerned about some strands of cancer trying to spread. She recommended getting a double mastectomy, but wanted to meet with my other doctors first. It was so scary to think about having to get another surgery.

Toward the end of February I met with my oncologist and the radiationist. They had some good news, a mastectomywouldn’t be necessary, but I needed to start chemo sooner rather than later. God uses people in our lives to speak to us because He knows our hearts and what we need to hear. When I met with the radiationist, he told me exactly what I needed to hear. He said, “nothing you have done in your life has caused this cancer”. From the day I was diagnosed, I had been trying to figure out why I had gotten cancer, why me?

I started chemo and had a long road ahead of me. The chemo made me pretty sick and really exhausted. It also made all my hair fall out. I ended up shaving my head the night

before my 30th birthday. Who knew, I’d be bald by 30. (Thankfully, it grew back when I was finished with chemo).

I still was able to work part time and thankfully my job worked well with me. The more chemo treatments I got the weaker I got. Once when I went out for a treatment, my white blood cell count was too low to get one and I just didn’t feel good. They wanted me to get a shot to boost my white blood cells, but the insurance wouldn’t cover it. It was really expensive so I couldn’t pay for it privately. As the week went on, I got sick and had to go to the emergency room. That was one of the toughest nights of the treatments. I didn’t want to go to the hospital because I knew I would have to be admitted because of my fever. My mom and dad took me. I remember my dad asking why I didn’t want to go and I said because I just don’t want to be sick anymore. I know that was hard on my parents too. I ended up getting admitted and being in ICU for 4 days. I missed my grandma’s 80th birthday party, which was devastating to me. I finally regained strength and was able to continue my treatments.

I finished treatments in July and had to start radiation right away. I had to stay out in

Provo during radiation, and come home on the weekends. I had no idea how I was

going to afford this because I missed a lot of work. But God worked that out too. The Hit, Run, Score, an all-night softball tournament sponsored me that summer. Ashlynn and I were able to stay in South Jordan with the most amazing family. They opened up their home to us and included us in everything they did. It made a not so fun time much easier to deal with.

Ashlynn got to stay with me for the first 3 weeks of radiation, but she was starting kindergarten so she had to go stay with her dad for the last 4 weeks. It was really hard for me to miss her first day of kindergarten. I finished radiation at theend of September. Because of the type of cancer it was I had to continue one chemo treatment for a year, but it wasn’t very aggressive. I had to drive out to Provo every 3 weeks to get that. It didn’t make me very sick and wasn’t too bad.

When that was finished I started taking a medication that I had to take for 5 years. I thought the Provo trips were about over, but that medication wasn’t strong enough so I had to get an injection every three months and that was for 5 years as well. Everything three months is better than every three weeks though. When I reached the 5-year mark, I was excited to be able to stop the medication and injections, but the doctors told me that it would be best if I continued this treatment for another 5 years because of my age and the research that had been recently discovered. I did not want to continue this treatment, so I said I will think about it.

I prayed about what to do and decided I would stop the injectionsbut continue the medication. I still deal with many side effects of the treatments, even one I didn’t know there was a term for. It is called survivor’s guilt. I have known a couple of people that cancer won against and it doesn’t seem fair. It is emotionally hard to deal with as a survivor. I have learned so much through this journey. I learned that staying positive is one of the best treatments for dealing with anything in life. Find something that makes you smile everyday. I am someone that thinks I can handle everything on my own and that I have to be strong. Going through this taught me that I am not alone and if I am open and discerning the right people will come along and help. It is okay to have help andnot be strong all the time. I learned I have to take care of me so that I am able to return the favor when I am strong again.

Yes it was hard missing out on important events during this time, but I know now that God allows us to go through hard things so we can help others going through similar

situations. He allows us to go through these things, but He provides all we need and

fights alongside us.

I got to see my family and friends step up and help out in so many ways I never knew possible. My mom went to so many appointments with me and took care of me when I was too sick, my dad fed me ice chips in the hospital, my daughter was such a trooper and so patient and amazing; the rest of my family and friends were only a phone call away. Meals and groceries were provided from such caring people. I got to meet one of the coolest families that opened up their home to us. I got to see the importance of life because it is precious and we only get one. And most of all, I got to see the miracles that God can do through what seems like the impossible. I thank God for being a survivor for 7 years now. I would not be the person I am today had I not gone through this. I hope my story inspires someone in knowing that you are not alone in this battle and when you are wondering why it is happening to you, just know you are part of the story that can change someone’s life.

Pala

I have been a breast cancer survivor for eleven years. I would like to encourage all women to do their monthly self-exams. My lump was not detected by a mammogram, which I faithfully had done every year. The lump did not show on an ultrasound. I am positive that a breast self-exam saved my life.… [read more]

I have been a breast cancer survivor for eleven years. I would like to encourage all women to do their monthly self-exams. My lump was not detected by a mammogram, which I faithfully had done every year. The lump did not show on an ultrasound. I am positive that a breast self-exam saved my life.

Please review the “American Cancer Society Recommendations for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer”.

I would like to thank the Uintah Basin Medical Center for the opportunity to share my story. Also, for the part the physicians had in my diagnosis and treatment.

Skip to content