Human Hero

Human Hero

For each PuppyUp Walk, the Event Manager and their Walk Team select both a Human Cancer Hero and a Canine Cancer Hero, to be honored during the Walk ceremonies.

These Heroes are chosen because of their exemplary attitude towards their particular type of cancer, showing bravery and hopefulness in their fight against this terrible disease.

Kathy’s Cancer Story:

My name is Kathy von Broembsen. I’m 42 years old and I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer on June 6th, 2016.

My cancer story needs to start in 2010 in order to make sense. 2010 was my first year living in Nashville and I found a small lump in my right breast. My gynecologist was confident it was nothing to worry about but sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound just to be sure. The results were sent to a specialist and he too was very confident it was nothing to be concerned about. He said he was 99% sure it was just a cyst but if I still wanted a biopsy that he would do it. I was still very worried but something told me this doctor knows what he’s doing. So I didn’t have the biopsy.

Fast forward to May of 2016. It was a Sunday night I was in bed watching Netflix and my cat Sloan (who is overweight) jumped up on the bed and for some reason landed directly on my left breast. It did not hurt but I subconsciously put my hand down on the spot he landed and I immediately felt a large lump. I had a very bad feeling come over me. I made an appointment to see my doctor first thing the next morning.

This experience was very different to the one in 2010. I was sent immediately to The Vanderbilt Breast Center for a diagnostic mammogram. After the diagnostic mammogram I was moved to the ultrasound room and the tech went over the “area” and then she went out and got the head of the ultrasound department to take a second look. Naturally as soon as she walked out of the room, I took a look at the image that was on the screen. The mass looked like something out of a sci-fi movie, a big grey spindly mass. The head of the department came in and told me they needed to do a biopsy because the mass looked suspicious. After the needle biopsy, I waited an excruciatingly long four days until I got the call back from the nurse about the results. I was at work when she called on that Monday morning. The world stopped turning when I walked into the conference room and she said the words. I’m so sorry but it’s cancer.

Even though for almost a month I knew and I thought because I knew that the news wouldn’t come as much of a shock as it did, but it was horribly shocking. I immediately started crying and then right away called my best friend and then my mom. I’ll never know how hard my diagnosis was on them because they were nothing but supportive and loving, but I know it must have been awful to hear that news.

My treatment started with a double mastectomy, followed by five months of chemotherapy, then reconstruction surgery and finally a hysterectomy. Having never had children this was especially sad for me. It’s now two and a half years later and I’m feeling blessed to be alive. I’m grateful for all the life I have lived and for every breath I have moving forward. God has a plan for all of us and I’m just happy to be here.

I’m so honored to be walking with my fellow, three legged, cancer survivor Penny in support of The Puppy Up Foundation.