She has been cancer free now for seven years.
Read has no question that the mammogram saved her life.
She said she has taught her three daughters to be cautious. They all do self-exams and get mammograms, too.
“My family is very grateful for early detection,” her daughter, Judith Townsend, said in an email.
Read tries to encourage other people — men and women both young and old — to be on the lookout for the signs of breast cancer.
Men can get it, too, she said. In fact, when she was in the hospital’s oncology unit, she saw men undergoing treatments for breast cancer.
Hopefully, it wasn’t too late for those men. Read said she has friends who waited too long to see a doctor.
“There are some women who are so afraid that they won’t go get it checked,” she said.
One of her friends had a discharge coming from one of her breasts, sometimes bloody. She hid it by wearing a padding of some kind.
Other friends have ignored similar signs. It’s had serious consequences.
“They’re dying because they wouldn’t go,” she said.
Read, though, will be celebrating her 51st wedding anniversary with her husband, Richard, this week because she was vigilant.
She couldn’t have survived her struggles with breast cancer without him, she said.
“He’s been with me through this all the way,” she said.
Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune education reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8585 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.