Laura Campbell is thankful today. She is thankful for her husband. She is thankful for her family, including her granddaughter. Laura Campbell is also thankful for her successful battle against breast cancer which included chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
The first thing one quickly notices about Laura Campbell is her smile.
And make no mistake, the Monroe resident has plenty to smile about.
Campbell is nearing the end of her battle with breast cancer, something which was detected by regular screenings and something which has taught her to appreciate even the smallest of things in life.
“I found out during a routine mammogram,” said Campbell, who looks even younger than her 48 years. “They found it early. I had no idea there was even anything there but that’s why it is so important to get checked.”
Various family members of Campbell have also had to deal with cancer so it was something that has never been completely out of her mind. Still, it was something that was extremely difficult to deal with.
“It was certainly one of the scariest things that a person can be told,” Campbell said. “Knowing that one day you could wake and it all be over. Going through this has taught me to keep myself busy and live life for the moment. You should always enjoy the little things in life.”
One of those “little” things Campbell enjoys is spending time with her granddaughter,
Coralee Campbell, who is now 2. She is also thankful for the support of her husband, Billy Wayne Campbell, a truck driver whom she says is her best friend.
Originally from Mississippi, Campbell had to go through her battle with cancer without some family members being nearby. Still, she said she had the strong support of close friends.
Campbell’s battle with breast cancer is not that far in the rear view mirror. She went through four months of chemotherapy along with 30 rounds of radiation. She is currently going through active post-cancer treatment.
“This experience never really leaves my mind,” Campbell said. “That goes for anyone I know who has had to fight it. However, you can’t let it take you over and control you.”
Other than the constant fear she dealt with after learning of her cancer diagnosis, Campbell said it was also difficult, as a woman, losing her hair after chemotherapy.
“I felt I lost my dignity,” she said. “There were so many changes that you had to deal with that seemed to happen at once.”
Campbell said she continues to enjoy spending time with her family and friends. She is looking forward to an upcoming trip to Buffalo. She said her animals are also a comfort to her.
The battle with cancer, which first involved doctors removing a tumor, has been a life-changing event. Campbell said she feels blessed the cancer did not spread to her lymph nodes or elsewhere.
For anyone dealing with a similar situation, Campbell said it is important to reach out and talk with someone.
“Depression becomes a big part of this battle,” she said. “Even if you think you don’t need to, talk with someone. I know I tell people I will always be there to help give them a ride or just sit and talk.”
It’s a life lesson that we all would be wise to follow.
For now Campbell is looking ahead and still smiling. No doubt her positive attitude has played a role in her victory as well.