Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Mindy’s Story

10.3_Mindys-Story-FBMindy McCormick is not the kind of person that relishes attention. She’s kind, intuitive and hardworking. She’s a great leader because she knows that the strength of any organization is in the team and encourages all of her team members to do their best for the entire unit. One person is not above the group.

If it weren’t for the cancer, she wouldn’t want an article written about her.

Mindy McCormick is the Retail Coordinator and Frame Buyer for EyeCare Specialties. She has been helping patients find the perfect eyewear solution for 13 years. Mindy also trains and educates opticians to do the same.

It was a summer day at the beginning of June. Mindy had gone in for a routine mammogram. Because she had an aunt who had been recently diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, she knew the importance of having a thorough exam. She insisted on the 3D mammogram to make sure her doctor had the complete picture. The technicians requested more tests. They did an ultrasound and then brought Mindy back in for an ultrasound biopsy.

A few weeks later while she was at work, her doctors left a message, but Mindy was so busy taking care of her own patients that she didn’t get a chance to call them back until after hours. They returned her phone call right away. Mindy had tested positive for stage 1 breast cancer.

The next few days were a whirlwind. They were immediately scheduled to visit with  a surgeon who specializes in breast cancer and an oncologist. In a two-week span, Mindy had her appointments scheduled and started right away on chemotherapy.

According to Mindy, chemotherapy is a roller coaster. She is currently 2/3 of the way done with her six treatments. Her last session is scheduled for the end of October after which she will undergo surgery. She typically feels not too bad for the day or two after treatment, but then hits a wall. Because the type of chemo her doctor has prescribed is such an aggressive one, the treatment leaves Mindy feeling very weak, tired and achy.

Mindy’s family has been incredibly supportive throughout her entire experience. Her husband and children pitch in and do the cleaning and housework. Friends and neighbors have been offering meals and gift cards to area restaurants. Mindy says the outpouring of support has been overwhelming and gratefully appreciated.

At her first visit with her oncologist, Mindy found out that her particular type of breast cancer is the most common and can be easily treated when detected early. That was when the lightbulb went off over Mindy’s head. She knew it was her mission to promote early detection and spread the word to women how important it is to have regular screenings.

Even though she tends to shy from the spotlight, Mindy wants to become an advocate for women to stand up for their health and insist on proper screenings. She encourages everyone she knows that even if they have a hint of family history of breast cancer to get regular mammograms. Because her own cancer was only discovered through the 3D mammogram, she advocates for the most comprehensive technology for anyone who feels that they may be at risk.

Optimism can be hard to come by when fighting breast cancer. But Mindy sees hope every day. She finds hope in coming to work and being able to help EyeCare’s patients. She finds hope in interacting and proving to herself what she’s capable of. And she finds hope in being able to help other women and advocate for early detection.

This October, we are so proud of Mindy and the other women who fight for their health and for that optimism. EyeCare Specialties will once again be participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 23 and will be raising money in various forms to help the cause. If you’d like to support our team and raise money for the American Cancer Society, please click here.