From Survivor to Driver: Shawn's Breast Cancer Story
Hi, I am Shawn Egbert. I am married to Darryl and have 3 children, Samantha, Jon and Audrey. I am 51 years old and I am a breast cancer SURVIVOR! In August 2014 I had a routine mammogram with normal results. Just 4 months later, in December I felt a lump in my left breast. I didn’t think much about it and continued with all the activities of the holidays. In mid-January, I realized that the lump was still there, so I called my doctor and got an appointment for that day. That’s when life started moving like I was a race car in a Nascar race. The rest of that week was filled with a mammogram, a second mammogram, an ultrasound and a biopsy. By Tuesday of the following week, it was confirmed that at 47 years of age, with no family history, I had breast cancer! I met the surgeon on Thursday. He said I had DCIS and recommended a lumpectomy. I had surgery set up for a lumpectomy the following week. And another surgery the following week since it turns out the margins weren’t clear, and they realized that the cancer wasn’t DCIS, but invasive ductal carcinoma and to top it off, one lymph node tested positive. This put a whole new spin on my dreams of little to no additional treatment. I met with Dr. Calvo, my medical oncologist, who put a treatment plan in place for me. We decided that I needed 6 rounds of chemo, 35 rounds of radiation and 12 months of Herceptin infusions.
My cousin told me about Pink Ribbon Girls and urged me to call and get set up with their services. At first, I was hesitant to call to get services. We had plenty of family and friends to help us. But, she urged me call anyway. I called and got the meals set up to be delivered to our home. Wow, were they delicious! We looked forward to Mondays when the meals were delivered to see what variety of meals were in the box for the week. When my treatment was over, and the meals stopped being delivered, my family was a little sad because Chef Matt and Chef Marshall from Scratch Catering are much better cooks than I am!
As soon as my chemo and radiation treatments were over, my family and I decided to volunteer with Pink Ribbon Girls to give back and thank them for the help they gave us. We planned to help with a few events and move on. The first event we helped with was a Cincinnati Cyclones Frozen 5K and Hockey Game later that night. My 9-year-old helped me with registration early in the morning. My husband helped direct folks out on the course. We ended the night watching our first ice hockey game. A couple weeks later we volunteered to help out at a UD basketball game with the Pink Ribbon Girls table. We were hooked! More than 2 years later, you can still find us volunteering a couple times a month.
PRG helped us out during treatment, as a family we love to give back by volunteering, and I certainly can’t forget the peer support that PRG offers me! I have met so many new friends through the Coffee Talks. I look forward to getting together each month with others who have been on a similar journey where we can just “be honest” about our feelings. We laugh, cry, celebrate and curse cancer. But we do it together. No one travels this road alone!
Life was hard once again for me last fall as my job abruptly came to an end after 31 years with the same employer. I spend a lot of time in prayer, trying to figure out what I was supposed to do next. Boom! PRG posted a job for a transportation specialist aka driver for the Dayton area. I jumped on it and sent my application in the same day it was posted. In January, I was hired by Pink Ribbon Girls and started the most amazing job! I drive clients to their treatment each day. I sit with them in the waiting room. I pray with them if they want me to. I celebrate with them when it is their last day of treatment! It is nice to be able to let them know that I too am a cancer survivor and I understand some of their journey. Each of these ladies has now become a friend of mine. As weird as it sounds, I can’t believe I am so lucky to be a survivor, and now a driver for PRG. Who knew 3 years ago how much my life would change with those 3 little words “You have cancer”?