Crystal Law is no stranger to battling cancer.
The Adams Township woman began routine mammograms in her 20s after she was treated for Hodgkin’s disease.
Two years ago calcifications appeared. In July she had a biopsy.
“I really didn’t think anything of it,” the 38-year-old Law said. “I didn’t have a lump or anything. I felt fine.”
She was not fine.
The next day the telephone rang.
“My doctor told me over the phone,” she said. “It was ductal carcinoma with invasion. The most common form of breast cancer.
“I was in shock,” said Law, a nurse in the maternity ward of Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.
“For the next three days I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling,” she said.
She had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease as a 17-year-old high school senior in Somerset. The cancer treatment included radiation that doctors now believe may have caused abnormal cell growth in her breast.
Doctors believe the breast cancer was detected early – Stage 1. Surgeons removed the cancer growth, and Law said she is nearly finished with her radiation treatment. She will need medication for several years.
Law’s mother, Lorraine Barron, 60, recorder of deeds for Somerset County, was diagnosed last year with liposarcoma.
The family is pulling together.
Husband Trevor, sons Cody, 17, Triston, 15, and Connor, 13, and daughter Taylor, 12, are keeping her positive – especially the older boys, who are wrestlers at Forest Hills High School.
“They keep telling me I have to be mentally tough,” Law said. “I’ve got to stay strong. All I think about is my kids. I want to see them grow up.”
She is grateful for the support of the John P. Murtha Regional Cancer Center in Johnstown.
“They have been wonderful,” she said. “A lot of the staff remembered me from the first time they treated me 20 years ago.”
Law said the experience has helped her to appreciate all aspects of life.
“People complain about the weather,” she said. “I see the beauty in everything, rainstorms, snowstorms. This has just made me stronger.”
She urges women to do regular breast self-exams and get a mammogram before they turn 40.
“So many people in their 30s are getting breast cancer,” she said.
“Breast cancer is a killer. If you catch it early, it can be treated.”
Crystal Law is no stranger to battling cancer.
- Breast Cancer
‘You realize how precious life is’: Jennerstown woman gets diagnosis 7 years after sister died from disease
Seven years to the day Cathy Woy’s sister died from breast cancer, the Jennerstown resident had a biopsy to determine if she herself had the disease.
Mother, two daughters fight cancer in a year
Edi Nesmith, 52, was numbed by the news in November that she had stage 3 ovarian cancer, but she was not surprised.
“It never was a question of ‘if,’ ” she said at her New Florence home. “It was only a question of ‘when.’
Seasoned survivor: Brownstown woman successfully battled breast cancer decades ago
Breast cancer month has significant meaning to 76-year-old Lavonne Adams of Brownstown Borough.
This month marks her 40th anniversary of being cancer free following a mastectomy in 1973.
Survivor: Early detection key to breast cancer battle
About the beginning of June, Kathy Cunningham felt a lump in one of her breasts while taking a shower.
Indiana woman going strong despite two battles with cancer
Diana Friedline of Indiana is into her second breast cancer diagnosis, and possibly a third with new developments, but still going strong.
‘They keep me going’: 4 Welsh terriers help Indiana woman keep a positive attitude
A look at the past few years and Jane Erdman’s battle with cancer gives new meaning to the term roller coaster ride.
‘God is there’: Indiana woman credits family, hospital co-workers for helping her get through bout with cancer
For Judy Sipos of Indiana it was routine. It was something she had done regularly for about 20 years. With no history of breast cancer in her family, the 58-year-old Sipos had little concern when she scheduled her mammogram in April.
Breast cancer survivor: Right attitude essential
When Melissa Fedoruk was diagnosed with breast cancer, she made the decision that it was not going to become the center of her world.
“I can live with cancer, but it’s not going to be my life,” the 39-year-old Homer City resident said.
Couple support each other through mastectomies
Facing the daily struggle of a breast cancer diagnosis can be a heavy burden to carry alone. Paul and Betty Amigh, of Mile Hill Road in Johnstown, said they’re glad they had each other to lean on when both underwent mastectomies to prevent and curtail the spread of breast cancer.
Woman fighting ‘Round 2’ against breast cancer
After Kim Fuller fought off cancer in 1997, she went for follow-up checkups every year with one thought in mind: It could return one day.
Then, in February, it did. A doctor once again found a lump on her right breast.
- More Breast Cancer Headlines
- ‘You realize how precious life is’: Jennerstown woman gets diagnosis 7 years after sister died from disease