Allow me to introduce you to my amazing wife. Many of you may already know Stacey is amazing but most don’t know that she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in late July of 2016. From the outset, Stacey chose to keep her cancer private only telling our children and closest family members. Why you may ask? Well, Stacey has never wanted to be the center of attention. She didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her. Stacey was determined to beat cancer and live a normal life. So far, so good.
Treatment began in September with surgery at Essentia Health in Duluth, MN followed by chemotherapy in October at the wonderful Northwest Wisconsin Cancer Center in Ashland, WI. By Halloween she had lost her hair and was wearing a wig. Thanks to the fine people at La Peinado Salon in Superior, no one ever seemed to notice it wasn’t her true hair.
In September Stacey was poised to assume the position of President-Elect of the Realtor’s Association of Northwestern Wisconsin. Not yet knowing how Stacey would respond to treatment, I convinced her to postpone taking on this additional responsibility for one year. The Realtor organization was gracious enough to accommodate our request. In retrospect, that probably wasn’t necessary. Stacey has tolerated treatment with amazing ease and strength; never once getting sick and maintaining a full work schedule. I don’t know if there is a record for such a thing but in the 7 months since her diagnosis, Stacey has sold 25 properties. A record in my book!
We cherish every day and make sure to take time for family and fun. This winter included a weekend in Chicago with the kids over Christmas, a handful of skiing trips to Indianhead and a wonderful week at the beach. Stacey is back to riding her horse twice a week and life is good.
We feel very fortunate to have the Cancer Center so close to home. The care and comfort provided by the doctors and nurses is exceptional and inspiring. We are grateful for the support of family, friends and our team at McKinney Realty.
Over time, word spread to friends through our church and the real estate network to some extent, but not widespread. Why share this information now? Well, despite receiving annual mammograms, Stacey’s cancer went undiagnosed until she discovered a lump during a self-exam. We want to stress the importance for women to receive regular mammograms and perform self-exams. For women with dense breast tissue, or if you receive “call-backs,” be sure to ask about further diagnostic tools such as ultrasound or MRI. Not all breast cancers are visible via mammogram.
Further, we want to convey that a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence but one of the many challenges we face in life. Stacey has overcome this challenge by tackling it head-on. Her doctors attribute her good result to a positive attitude and staying active.
Stacey’s treatment is just about complete and her hair is coming back. She has grown fond of her new aerodynamic look and it might be time for new business cards and profile pics as I have a feeling the new style will stick.