Livingston woman: 'I have cancer, but cancer doesn't have me'

Livingston woman: 'I have cancer, but cancer doesn't have me'
Source: KTRE staff
Source: KTRE staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Hundreds of people showed up wearing pink to honor those fighting breast cancer at the 23rd annual Power of Pink event.

In the audience was Kathleen Riley. Riley, who calls herself a warrior, is currently fighting breast cancer.

"I have stage-two breast cancer," Riley said. "I had a 2.5 pound tumor tumor removed from my left breast side and a partial mastectomy done"

Earlier in 2014, Riley was diagnosed with the cancer after she went to a doctor when she felt a lump in her chest.

"It's hard, it's really hard," Riley said. "Let me tell you, cancer is not any fun."

Riley said the cancer treatments are hard. Riley has gone through four chemotherapy treatments and has 10 more to go. Riley said she is able to get through the pain by having her mom by her side.

"Coming out of surgery, she is the first person I see," Riley said. "She's put her life on hold for me."

Riley also said that she could not be as confident as she is with out the support of the medical team that has walked with her though this journey.

"When we first saw Kat, I knew she was going to be a great role model for others going through cancer," said Dr. Sid Roberts, the medical director for the Temple Cancer Center. "Seeing the arc of the story from diagnosis through treatment is just a beautiful thing. It just reminds me how long it takes to go through the process."

Riley said cancer may have taken her strength and her hair, but it will not take her fighting spirit.

"In those chemo rooms, you see a lot of hopelessness," Riley said. "A lot of times, I just have to look down and catch my breath. So I know that I'm not alone. I'm going to live through this. I have cancer, but cancer doesn't have me. I just keep looking for the sunshine every day."

Riley said once the treatment is done, she will be going on a kayak cruise with her mom.

Riley was honored at the luncheon for her strong positive attitude while fighting cancer.

Riley said the one message she hoped to present is that you do not have to go through the fight by yourself.

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