Every two minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer — that’s one out of every eight women. WFXR News is partnering with the local Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge to celebrate breast cancer survivors. Decca Knight is one of ten women, WFXR News will feature.
Decca Knight finds peace in her Bent Mountain home. “We moved here after my diagnosis,” says Knight. “It’s beautiful being outside.” She was 32 years old when her doctor found a large lump in her left breast during a routine clinical breast exam. “I work out. I eat organic. I’m super healthy. There’s no way it’s cancer.” Knight and her doctor were undoubtedly certain it was, perhaps, a cyst or something, but not cancer because she didn’t have a family history of the disease. She wasn’t afraid, or even concerned. Doctors ran tests and did an ultrasound.
Knight says, “I could tell by the look on the person doing the ultrasound, there was a little concern by the look on their face.” Unfortunately, in this case, Knight’s large lump in her breast was cancerous. And it was aggressive–Stage 2.
Knight didn’t have an opportunity to wrap her mind around this diagnosis–one, because she didn’t expect it and —two, because it was happening so quickly.
“Things went so quickly and I didn’t know anybody that’s had cancer,” says Knight. She immediately starting seeing an oncologist. Knight had a bilateral mysectomy. Doctors removed both of her breasts. It was about a year and a half of treatment, including Chemo and the dreaded Red Devil. The disease took it’s toll on Knight and her family, but they pulled together like never before. Now, it’s been ten years since Knight beat cancer.
Knight has become such a support system for other young women battling breast cancer. She started a support group for other women. It’s called Young Cancer Chicks of Southwest Virginia. Jennifer McDonald has been in the group for years. She says, “She (Decca) is amazing. I’ve called her multiple times and asked questions about medicines and different side effects.” In fact, McDonald says, her oncologist actually told her about Decca Knight and the support group she started. Decca Knight is also an advocate in the commonwealth. She lobbys at the capital for legislation that helps people handle cancer related issues.
For the next 2 months, WFXR’s Charmayne Brown will share a cancer survivor’s story. Every Monday watch Good Day Virginia from 5-8 am. Also, join us at the Race for the Cure on May 4th.