Stories of Strength: A day in the garden leads to a day in the doctors

Local News

GHENT, WV (WVNS) – Kerry Knapp was preparing her garden for the upcoming tomato season. Her arm was sore and she assumed it was a pulled muscle, but her doctor soon found that it was much more.

“But once the first mammogram was done, and they wanted me to come back, I knew something wasn’t right. It was scary,” Knapp said.

Kerry Knapp was diagnosed with stage two-B breast cancer, a rare form of the disease. She knew she was in for the fight for her life. After some tests, she decided to have a mastectomy.

“They couldn’t spare the tissue. So the best option was to go that way. Because with the lumpectomy, there was a chance that I would have to have another surgery because they couldn’t get it all,” Knapp explained.

Kerry’s cancer journey really did change her. For one, she always had long, beautiful hair and chemotherapy treatments took that away from her.
She tried wigs, but never really felt herself. The worst part, to her, was how cold she always was.

“But in the middle of winter, it’s bad enough you already know you’re sick. But in the middle of winter, when it is cold outside and there is nothing like wind on your ears that you’ve never felt before,” Knapp said.

She may have been sick, but she always had the support of her family and friends. Her husband and her best friend, Chrissy, were especially helpful in her journey.

“He couldn’t work because he was taking care of me. He was trying, but it’s very difficult to have three kids and be sick,” Knapp said.

Knapp never thought she would even need a mammogram before the age of 40. But, she said asking the right questions to her doctor, really saved her life.

“People are getting younger and younger getting breast cancer. And people think, like I did, that it’s something else. They really need to be vigilant with themselves and not wait for a doctor to ask them questions. Because if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Knapp said.

Kerry lost more than just her hair. Some things that she was able to do before cancer, she now has to take slower or can’t do at all. But there is one thing it taught her, to never take life’s small moments for granted.

“As a parent you’re like, I have to go to band tonight. Now I’m excited. I get to see my kid tonight playing the band,” Knapp said.

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