CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Tracy Fuqua, a 34 year-old mother of two, is a lot like many mothers in their early thirties; putting the needs of her children ahead of her own. Keeping up with the demands of motherhood can often come at a lapse in self-care, and Tracy said she found herself too, putting things off, including self-breast exams because breast cancer wasn’t something she considered an immediate threat.
“For a lot of women, we don’t think it’s anything to worry about until our 40s,” she explained.
That all changed this past Thanksgiving Day when Tracy scratched an itch on her breast. It was an itch that saved her life.
“This was totally out of the blue and unexpected,” she recalled. “I scratched an itch and felt a lump. Of course, since it was Thanksgiving, my doctor’s office was closed, but the very next day I called and made an appointment.”
After her OB/GYN confirmed there was a lump, Tracy was sent to Rhonda Brake Shreiner Women’s Center for imaging, and eventually a biopsy. Then came the earth-shattering news, Tracy, just 33 years old at the time, had stage two breast cancer.
That’s when she met Dr. Takelya Williams of Summit Breast Care Services.
“She was really confident, she told me, ‘we can fight this’. She never has made me feel like a patient, she makes me feel like a person. She told me she will do everything in her power to make sure I’m here for my kids,” Tracy remembers.
May 16th, Tracy will undergo a double mastectomy. She said she has elected for the more aggressive approach, because she wants to make sure everything is removed. Dr. Williams, who is the first fellowship trained breast surgeon in the area, will perform the operation. Tracy will also undergo an immediate breast reconstruction surgery.
Although Tracy knows the seriousness of the upcoming procedure, she said she takes comfort in the trust she has in Dr. Williams expertise. She also sees her journey as an opportunity to save other women’s lives.
“God only gives you what you can handle. This is my chance to help others. I feel like this is maybe why God put this on me, so I can raise awareness for other women,” she said.
For more information on Summit Breast Care Services, please visit SummitHealth.org/BreastCare.