Kelly Wells Barnett


"I would encourage to be positive and to expect those to be positive.  Fight the battle with all you have, and WIN!"

I had not felt right for a while, but I had always been healthy.  I kept telling my doctor that something was wrong, I was not sure what, I just knew things were not right.  So he started running different tests on me.  But with every test, things were good.  I had gotten a mammogram about eight months before all this started.  But I kept having pain under my arm, so I went to the doctor and they decided to do an ultrasound.  Then after that, they wanted to do a biopsy.  At that point, I got a little nervous, but I was holding on to the statement that breast cancer doesn’t hurt.  It took about 2 weeks to finally get the answer that I did indeed have breast cancer.  My breast cancer was so small, the prior mammogram wasn’t able to detect it.  I also had the Hormone Receptive Breast Cancer, which is one of the fastest growing breast cancers.  I called the hospital on that Saturday for my test results. The lab called my doctor, who was on call over the weekend, and she called me.  I told her, I didn’t know who to call or what to do.  She gave me the name of a breast cancer doctor, Dr. Brian at Texas Oncology.  I met with her very quickly and loved her.  She is very well known in the breast cancer field,  as one of the best surgeons.  I loved her bluntness and have a lot of respect for her.  I also met with my chemo doctor, Dr. Krekow.  One thing I loved about Texas Oncology is that my team of doctors was all women.  Dr. Krekow told me that I would have to accept help from others, and I did.  I am very independent, but during that time in my life, I turned to many friends and family to help.  I am a single mom and my daughter, Peyton was only 15 at the time.  I even had to depend on her for some things.  My sister, Treva lives in Laguna Beach, Ca. and she came home every three weeks to take me to chemo.  How amazing is that!!!  I have a wonderful family and friends, who I love dearly!  I am blessed to be alive and I take advantage of that every day!!!

When and how did you learn that you had breast cancer?
I learned I had breast cancer on December 29, 2007.  My mother’s sister, Aunt Sydney had fought breast cancer for 10 years, and she finally lost the battle.  She was the one person in our family to have it.   My sister, Treva and her family were home for Christmas. I called the lab on that Saturday to see if my results were in.  I really did not think, I’d get an answer on a Saturday.  The lab in turn called my obstetrician and she just happened to be on call.  The lab told her the test results and the doctor wanted to call me directly.

Did you know much about breast cancer when you were diagnosed?  Did you have a family history of the disease?
I didn’t know much about breast cancer.  Although, my Aunt Sydney had gone through so treatment for breast cancer.

How involved was your treatment?
I had lumpectomy and a port installed for chemotherapy.  I had chemo every three weeks for six months.  Then I had radiation for 31 days.

What were the most important factors that help you through treatment and recovery?
I had a positive attitude and wanted everyone around me to have a good attitude, also.

What did you learn about yourself as you went through this difficult experience?
I learned so much about myself!  I am stronger than I could have ever imagined.  I have a wonderful relationship with my Lord and Savior, who was there when no one else was.  Now things that seemed so big before, are not so big!  I am a fighter!!!

How do you feel today?  How has your life changed since facing this disease?
I feel awesome today!  I have seen my daughter graduate from high school and become a wonderful young lady.  My life has changed so much since my battle with breast cancer.  I try to be healthier and I always get my medical exams on time.  I also bug my friends and family to get their check- ups on a regular basis.