Personal Story: Jennifer Kielman - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Personal Story: Jennifer Kielman

Jennifer Kielman in 2007 at WAOW Jennifer Kielman in 2007 at WAOW
Jennifer participating in the 2011 Race for the Cure in Tyler, Texas Jennifer participating in the 2011 Race for the Cure in Tyler, Texas
Jennifer Kielman today Jennifer Kielman today

You might recognize me from my days as the weekend anchor/reporter at WAOW. Since leaving Wausau I accepted a job in Tyler, Texas moving just hours away from my family in Dallas. Everything seemed to be going perfectly in my life. I was promoted to the 6:00 & 10:00 p.m. anchor, was in love and I didn't have too much to worry about. I was 32-years-old and having the time of my life.

That's until one night in the latter part of September 2010. I was working on a story about breast cancer awareness. I don't know what it was but that story made me realize that I hadn't done a self breast exam in quite some time. So that night I got home from work, did one and I found something. I felt a lump in my left breast. Surely I thought it was nothing. But a couple weeks later I had it checked out. My OBGYN felt the lump too. The next day my doctor and I made an appointment for a mammogram and a sonogram. That afternoon I had a biopsy and the doctor told me to prepare myself for the worst: he was sure it was cancer. Still, they needed to send the specimen away to get it tested for sure. That was one of the longest and depressing weekends of my life.
By Monday, October 18, 2010 at 3:00 in the afternoon, with my momma by my side, I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, stage 1 grade 3. I was 32-years-old!! There was no family history. I was so confused. And from there on, it was nothing but tests and heartache. I chose to have a lumpectomy to remove the tumor. The surgery was followed by six months of chemotherapy. I lost all my hair, lost my eyesight and gained a lot of weight, along with the many other side effects that come with the treatments. It was 6 months of feeling like I had the flu. I slept a lot and pushed forward. Following chemotherapy, I also had 30 rounds of radiation therapy. I went to the doctor every day before work. And now I'm in the midst of 5 years of hormone therapy. I am happy to report - I am cancer-free.
Not only did I beat cancer, I am proud to say, I never once called in sick to work. I went on the air everyday with a smile on my face, whether it was forced or not I wasn't going to let cancer beat me. I was in control. It had already interrupted my life enough.
I chose to share my very personal story with viewers in East Texas and now with you, I hope you will understand that cancer doesn't discriminate. It doesn't matter what race you are, how old you are or if there's a family history or not. It's important for women to do self breast exams and be up-to-date on your mammograms. I can't say that enough! After all, a self-breast exam saved my life.

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