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The Student Voice of Wichita Northwest High School

Northwest Explorer

The Student Voice of Wichita Northwest High School

Northwest Explorer

The Student Voice of Wichita Northwest High School

Northwest Explorer

English teacher Stacie Ogborn’s battle with cancer


Those four days that English teacher Stacie Ogborn waited for a call from the doctor were the longest of her life. Spending time with friends and remaining busy kept her from waiting by the phone, but the wait was still extremely antagonizing.

Finally, on a late June day surrounded by family, Ogborn received the call she had been waiting for. Her doctor told her she had a cancerous tumor in her breast.

“I held it together on the phone,” Ogborn said, “But as soon as I hung up, I cried. It was pretty devastating news.”

Ogborn found out she had an early stage of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). One in 8 women in the U.S will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

After her diagnosis, Ogborn quickly began deciding what to do next. In early October, she was scheduled to have a lumpectomy; unfortunately an hour before surgery, the procedure was canceled. Completely in shock, Ogborn was speechless. Instead of the proceeding with a lumpectomy, she was scheduled to undergo a mastectomy: the removal of one breast.

Though having her own battle dealing with breast cancer, Ogborn remains humble when talking about her struggle.

“I don’t want this to be about how brave and courageous I’ve been,” she said, “Because there have been other women I’m in awe of what they’ve been through. My struggle has been nothing. I feel lucky. I feel absolutely blessed.”

Ogborn wouldn’t have been able to get through without humor. Above her desk hangs a gigantic pair of purple tie-dye underwear, formally known as the sisterhood of the traveling big girl panties. The underwear was given to her by friends in Winfield knowing Ogborn would need the laughter and their support.

Continuing to laugh, and with the support of family and friends, Ogborn knows she will be okay.

“This isn’t a death sentence,” Ogborn said, “I know I will get through this.”

Breast cancer affects everyone, not just the person diagnosed. Her daughter, senior Callie Ogborn feels the effects too.

“I’ve blocked a lot of it out and  I’ve tried to be supportive, but it came at the worst time possible, so I try to ignore it’s happened, but I regret that,” Callie Ogborn said.

Unable to understand her mother’s pain, Callie feels the cancer is separating the two.

“I wanna be close to her but I can’t help her and do what I need to do,” Callie Ogborn said “I love her a lot but she’s expecting too much of me.”
Though Callie Ogborn doesn’t feel as close to her mother as she can be, Ogborn knows she cares.

Not wanting to feel like a burden to anyone, the biggest struggle for both mother and daughter has been letting people in and letting others help through their time of need. For Callie, it’s been the constant question “Are you okay?,

“You can’t very well say you’re okay,” Callie said, “but in the end, I’m actually glad others are concerned because you learn who really cares about you.”

A woman’s risk of getting breast cancer almost doubles if she has a first-degree relative mother, sister and daughter who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Aware of the statistics, Callie keeps this in the back of her mind.

“I don’t want to be worried the rest of my life; you’re gonna die someday anyway,” Callie said.

Ogborn, as well as the American Cancer Society recommends getting annual mammograms at the age of 30.

“Early detection and mammograms saves lives,” Stacie Ogborn said.

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