In March 2007, life as Vickie Sauer knew it changed forever. Always vigilant with her yearly mammograms, her appointment that month showed an uncharacteristic mass. Tests were run, and soon after Vickie received the news – she had stage 1 breast cancer. Her doctors gave her several options , and Vickie conducted thorough research on each one and spoke with other women who were battling or had overcome breast cancer. Armed with information, Vickie decided to have a lumpectomy and lymph node biopsy in May 2007.
After her surgery, doctors ran tests to see if chemotherapy was needed. Thankfully, it was not necessary as the cancer had not spread outside of her breast, but she did undergo seven weeks of daily radiation treatments. As follow-up to her treatment, Vickie has to have mammograms every six months and hormone treatments for five years. Right now, all test results show that the cancer is no longer in her body. She will be declared cancer-free after five years. One year down, four to go!
Vickie’s family – husband Don, son Matthew, 21, and daughter Niki, 20 – attest to Vickie’s great strength during her ordeal. Vickie credits her family and friends as her inspiration during her diagnosis and treatment, as well as other women she met who have actually walked in her shoes. They gave her hope that she, too, would overcome this disease. Also important, Vickie stresses, is coming to terms with having cancer. It was a difficult realization, but a crucial step toward healing.
For her garden, Vickie chose a variety of hot pink pansies and tulips to represent the celebration of life. The flowers are planted in the shape of the breast cancer ribbon, serving as a reminder to all women of the importance of yearly mammograms. Rosemary, cabbages, and kale complement the flowers.