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Hunter battles breast cancer
amy hunter
Amy Hunter, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, has undergone four chemo treatments. Hunter bravely shared her story as she navigates this hurdle thrown her way and encourages women to get checked regularly.

“It started on a kayaking trip,” said Amy Hunter about her journey with breast cancer. Amy is just one of many women affected by the disease. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in American women. Breast cancer projections in the U.S. for 2022 indicate 287,500 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and 51,400 with non-invasive breast cancer.

Of those, 65% of all breast cancers are diagnosed at what is called the local stage at which the five-year survival rate is 99 percent. Sadly, it is estimated 43,550 women in the U.S. will die this year as a result.

Though rare, men also develop breast cancer. It affects an estimated 2,710 men in the U.S. resulting in a projected 530 deaths for 2022.

One woman every two minutes will receive a breast cancer diagnosis, and 1-in-8 women are expected to receive that news in their lifetime. This became a reality for Warren County resident Amy Hunter as she just received the news this year. This is Amy’s story.

“It started on a kayaking trip and carrying the kayaks up the VFW hill. That night, I felt a knot in my breast, and I thought, ‘Well, I pulled a muscle.’ I didn’t think anything else about it. About three weeks later, I had my routine mammogram, and it wasn’t just a pulled muscle. So that’s when I started having all the scans and the MRIs and all that stuff. And they told me it was cancer.”

Amy was diagnosed in mid-June of 2022, so her story is ongoing as she went through her last chemo treatment on Wednesday. She shared her story on Tuesday before her treatment saying, “I’ve had three chemo treatments three weeks apart. I have one more tomorrow, that’s the last of my chemo treatments. And then I have surgery Nov. 21.

“It’s been rough. The first treatment was really bad. I was sick for about a week and a half, in the bed, not able to do anything. And then the second treatment was a little better. The third treatment was a little better. So I’m hoping this fourth one won’t be as bad at all. But it’s usually a week and a half after my treatment, I’m not able to do a whole lot.”

Amy continues to work at SouthPoint Risk even while undergoing chemo. “I haven’t missed a whole lot of work as far as being sick because I have good people I work with, and they help me.” She added with a laugh, “They baby me.”

Amy continued, “My support system’s been in place since June. I mean since I found out. Our company here that I work with, we had a breast appreciation day. We all wore pink one day, and the company donated $550 to breast cancer research. You know, my friends and family have been there from day one.

“You always hear that thing of ‘It’ll never happen to me.’ Don’t say that because it will, and it can. I have no cancer history in my family at all. None. I’m the first one, so don’t think you’re safe. Always get your yearly checkup.”

Amy said that her life has changed quite a bit since being diagnosed. “My way of thinking has changed. Things that used to bother me don’t bother me anymore. It puts life in perspective because you never know. That’s just the way it is, you know? You don’t think about the little things until you think you might not have them anymore.

When asked where she finds the strength, she answered, “I pray a lot and my support system, and you have to have a support system. I have my church family, I have my work family, and I have my two sisters that will do anything in the world for me. And if it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t make it through.”

As Amy wrapped up telling her story, she reiterated, “Get your yearly mammogram, no matter what.”