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A survivor's journey

 

October 6, 2018

Jan Tucker / Daily Globe

SANDY MORIN spends many hours at her sewing machine working on her quilting projects.

By JAN TUCKER

jantuck@jamadots.com

Ontonagon - Sandy Morin believes in miracles and she has seen that miracle in her journey with cancer.

One of Morin's passions is quilting. She belongs to quilt groups and often they have quilting retreats, where like- minded sewers spend a weekend looking at different patterns and styles of quilts and exchanging information.

In December 2016, she was helping to ready the area for such a retreat, and helped to move a large television. By the next day her shoulder was hurting and she thought she may have torn her rotator cuff.

A few days later in bed as she was gently massaging her shoulder and the breast area, she felt a lump in the left breast. She immediately swung into action and received a mammogram and ultrasound at the Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital.

It is in the left breast, she told the sonographer. He could not find it and Morin tried to help. He started to move the ultrasound around and told her he found a lump, but in the right breast. She said she could not even feel anything in that breast and only the ultrasound located it.

Diagnosis - breast cancer.

Morin is no stranger to the word "cancer." She is a long-time member of the Ontonagon County Cancer Association and is its treasurer. The organization helps financially with up to $1,000 a year for travel and uninsured cancer bills for county residents.

After the diagnosis, Morin did some research and decided to go to the Aspirus Breast Center in Wausau, Wis. She saw an oncologist before the surgeon and working in conjunction with the specialist, decided on removal of the lump on the right breast. In addition to the cancer, several lymph nodes were removed and she received seven weeks of radiation.

Morin said the process is "scary," but she told her doctors: "This is important because I want to dance at my grandson's wedding." He was only 9 at the time.

She said she was in good hands with the Aspirus doctors and every step of the way had support from her children and her husband, Dennis. Sandy also has a strong faith in God and felt that strength often.

It's important if you have such a diagnosis to "just deal with it." She added "there will be storms in life, get on the phone, find out what you need, take charge and take care of it right away."

Morin returns to the doctor every six months and takes one prescription pill each day.

And she still believes in miracles: "Had I not believed there was a lump in my left breast, I would not have found the cancer was in the right breast."

Doctors told her the lump, found by accident, would not have been able to be felt for as much as two years down the road. "It was a miracle," she said.

 
 

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