More stories of survival

| April 13, 2011

Brunch with Betsey will honor six breast cancer survivors, and this week, we talked with two more of our honorees.

Mel Fisher

Mel Fisher

Q&A with Mel Fisher

How has breast cancer left a mark on your life?

It impacts you every day. Obviously, you can’t let the horror of it or the fear of recurrence dictate your life, but it changes you, there’s no denying it. Hopefully, you come out of it stronger. You view things differently. You don’t sweat the small stuff. And hopefully you can help someone who’s in the trenches of the battle right now.

What advice do you have to offer now that you’ve gone through the battle?

For someone who is going through the battle, first and foremost, they have to have a support system. … Even if you have no family, you’ve got to have somebody. I’m not a joiner, I’m not a group kind of person, so my husband, Ron, was my support system. For some people, they want as many people as possible around them. I was the total opposite. I wanted to keep it as private as I could. So Ron was that for me. You’ve got to find your Ron. It does make all the difference.

What are you doing differently today that you didn’t do before your diagnosis?

I will say I am a little more conscious of things I took for granted: organic foods, things like that. I really try to watch what I eat now. I still do (breast) self-exams. When they came out (in 2008 after a study conducted in Russia and China) and said they “serve no purpose,” that was really touchy for me. I’m living proof that that is total nonsense. I’d be dead if I didn’t do self-exams. I’d like to think before I was diagnosed, I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing. I found it. I got treated quickly and five years later, I’m here.

Thomas Buckman

Thomas Buckman

Q&A with Thomas Buckman

How has breast cancer left a mark on your life?

Literally? Mainly from the standpoint of after the surgery not having your breast and your nipple in that area. When you look at it every day, it bothers me quite a bit. They have suggested that eventually I could have reconstruction surgery. I don’t think so, but it is a constant reminder that this has happened to me. As far as other effects, it’s basically taking it one day at a time and hoping that the cancer doesn’t come back.

What advice do you have to offer now that you’ve gone through the battle?

I’ve told all my friends – regardless of what disease they’re battling – make sure when you go in and you talk to the doctor that you understand exactly what they’re telling you and what they may have to do. Also make sure you have someone with you so that they can take notes. That way when you walk out, you’re not confused. I was blessed enough that my niece is a doctor and my son is a trainer. I’d call them with questions and get information.

What are you doing differently today that you didn’t do before your diagnosis?

I used to play golf all the time, but I have a clench in my hand now that the doctors thought would go away. I’ve found out a lot of things they said initially were not necessarily true for men. Some of the little pains they’ve said will go away haven’t, and now they’re telling me they might be something I have to live with. It’s a little disturbing two years later when you’re having certain reactions, and you think they would be able to tell you that up front.

I think they’re still figuring out how men are affected. I really miss playing golf. It’s a big thing to me. I’m working the (72nd Senior PGA Championship). At least I can watch it, and I can go out and try to play a little bit. Alternatives could have been a lot worse, though. I look at it from that standpoint. … Now, I help men be aware. I ignored it for two years. All I had was a knot, and I just thought it was a knot. It wasn’t.

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Category: Brunch with Betsey

About the Author (Author Profile)

Angie Fenton
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.

Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.

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