LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin woman who lost her father to cancer thought the disease would take her life, too. Dorothy Reagan was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer at the age of 41. She's now encouraging others to get annual mammograms.
In 2012, it seemed as if Dorothy Reagan couldn't escape bad news.
"I had got a divorce in March and then turn around in November I was diagnosed with breast cancer stage two," Reagan said.
The pain Reagan was feeling was caused by a lump that biopsies later determined was cancerous.
"I was devastated because I was thinking oh my goodness cancer," Reagan said.
The Lufkin woman's father died of lung cancer, which caused her to think the end was near.
"You think of cancer and you think of the end," Reagan said. "Cancer took my dad and I didn't want cancer to take me away from my boys."
While Reagan thought she was going to lose her life her sister was fighting for her own life.
"She had breast cancer and she was actually going through her last stages of it," Reagan said. "She had the surgery, the chemo, and the radiation."
The two women formed a stronger bond as Reagan completed 18 rounds of chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation this year.
"I started going to my treatments, going back and forth to the doctor having chemo and radiation, and God just blessed me to still be here," Reagan said.
A lumpectomy was preformed and doctors found no other signs of cancer.
"Cancer doesn't always mean the end," Reagan said. "Sometimes it means a new beginning. I've really learned that faith can conquer all things."
The breast cancer survivor is thankful that's she's cancer free but said prior to being diagnosed she did not schedule annual mammograms. It's the reason why she's hopeful others will learn from her experience.
"Go get a mammogram, get the test done, get the biopsy done if there's a lump there, and don't be afraid to take cancer head on," Reagan said. "Put your boxing gloves on, put one foot in front of the other and just fight."
Almost a year after being diagnosed with breast cancer Reagan said she's continuing to take things one day at a time enjoying life.