Kelly Crawford of North Canton is much more than a cancer survivor. She’s a warrior.
In October of 2011, Crawford was enjoying life as a newlywed of five months when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I found a lump,” the Jackson Township native recalled. “I work in the medical field, but it was a big blur. You hear those words and see those words.”
Crawford’s regimen included a lumpectomy, taking herceptin, six rounds of chemotherapy every three weeks and 35 sessions of radiation.
On the fifth day of radiation, her mother died.
Though Crawford was declared cured of breast cancer after her treatments, doctors also detected cancer in her lungs and adrenal glands, which she continues to fight.
“I’ll be undergoing treatment for the rest of my life,” she said.
In developed countries, the survival rate for people with cancer has increased due to early detection and advances in treatment, technology and new medicine.
A practice manager for Pulmonary Physicians in Canton, Crawford describes the treatment she received at Aultman as “top notch.”
“I’m a patient of Dr. (Shruti) Trehan,” she said. “Everyone, from beginning to end, has been wonderful. I hear people in the waiting room, complaining about waiting, but Dr. Trehan is worth every minute. She’s never made me feel rushed.”
Crawford said the nurses and other personnel who work in the Aultman Cancer Center also have been “terrific.”
“I calculated that I’ve sat 130 times in a chemo chair,” she said. “You kind of become family. The doctors I work for have been great, too. They’ve been very supportive. I think what Canton has is on par with anywhere else.”
Crawford said any person who receives a cancer diagnosis must determine what’s best for their individual situation. She said she sought a second opinion at the Cleveland Clinic, where she was given the same diagnosis.
“Everyone has to handle it in their own way. Trust your instincts,” she said. “You know your body better than anyone. Be your own advocate.”
Crawford said people also should remember that cancer is no longer a death sentence, adding that despite having fourth-stage cancer, she still works.
“Keep a positive attitude,” Crawford said.