Stories of Strength: Two-time Breast Cancer survivor, Rose Harley

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ALLEN JUNCTION, WV (WVNS) — At 35 years old Rose Harley was living her life with two young children, going to work as a nurse, and doing the things many 35 year old’s do, until she found a lump in her right breast.

“At 35 years old you don’t think about that. I went and they told me it was Breast Cancer and I was devastated,” Harley said.

A terrifying diagnoses that no one ever wants to hear. Harley had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer, then went through six months of chemotherapy and two months of radiation. Rose went back to work and began to live her life as a cancer free women; fast forward to when she was 42 years old, things changed. 

“I got back on my feet after going through that and I just thought you know, I will never have to do this again. Following up with my mammogram 7 years later, I did not even feel it, it came back,” Harley said.

Her cancer was back. Seven years later and she was doing it all over again. This time Harley had a mastectomy on her right breast. She also went through four months of chemotherapy and received Herceptin once every week for a year, following her surgery. 

During that time Harley was tested, she truly did not know if she was going to come out on the other side of the cancer, but she did. She said she thanks God and the power of prayer for getting her to recovery road and the finish line.

“I have to mention God, he got me through this. He brought me through this and I have to tell that,” Harley said,

Rose still goes to the doctor for yearly mammograms, scans and blood work. She also educates women and men on how to do self-breast exams because you never know when that just might save your life. 

“If you feel something please go get it checked out. I was 35 years old I had no reason to get a mammogram. If you feel something in your body and you feel it is not right please go get it checked out,” Harley said.

While many years have gone by since Rose battled cancer, it is something she will live with forever. 

“Even though it has been 22 years it is an experience I will never forget. I’ve got the scars to prove it,” Harley said.

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