LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Watching others around you lose their battles to breast cancer seems like a bad nightmare. But it was reality for Robbie Kendrick who too had breast cancer in 2010. Today, she's thankful to spend yet another holiday with her family despite losing both her sister and sister-in-law to cancer.
For a couple years, mammograms became part of a bi-annual check up for Robbie Kendrick. Spots were something doctors had detected previously but never what Kendrick discovered the day before her birthday in 2010.
"That night on May 24 I was taking a shower and I found a lump on my left breast," Kendrick said. "It was actually on my chest wall."
The then 53-year-old decided to get care in Houston.
"By the time we actually got down there to see a doctor it had got into my lymph nodes. I had found a couple knots under my arm," Kendrick said.
An ultrasound and MRI were next on the check up list.
"When they did the ultrasound they found that it was cancer at that time," Kendrick said.
Though she was facing the more critical stages of breast cancer her doctor never let her lose hope.
"He said one thing about it we got to be positive; we can beat this with your age," Kendrick said. "You'll have an opportunity to be a survivor."
Surviving didn't appear easy while others around her were losing their own battle with cancer.
"While I was taking chemo I lost my sister and she had been struggling with it for five years," Kendrick said.
Kendrick said shortly after the deadly disease also took her sister-in-law's life. But that still didn't make her lose hope.
"I have a daughter that lives at the Lufkin State Supported Living Center that's 28 years old, and we went to see her every week because we didn't want anything in her life to have to change," Kendrick said. "So, I felt like I had to be positive and keep going for her as well."
16 treatments of chemotherapy, 28 treatments of radiation and a double mastectomy later, Kendrick has survived breast cancer.
"When we removed my breast there was no cancer," Kendrick said. "He said if hadn't had the metal clippings in there I wouldn't have known, so I feel like I am a miracle."
The support from her family has taught her the blessing of spending every special moment with them. This holiday season Kendrick said it's not about gifts.
"It's not about what you can go buy someone; it's the love of a family just to be supportive," Kendrick said. "You have to be positive for your family because you always have somebody else that needs you."
Kendrick said after losing her hair to cancer it has grown back to be the color gray. She said it's given her a reason to laugh now and said she's earned it.