Survivor Stories 2014:
1. How did you first find out you had cancer?
In 2001 I was running a cancer camp for women and children diagnosed with any type of cancers. One of my Women Cancer Campers, Toni, asked me when I had had my last mammogram. I told her it had been a year or two. I had all the excuses . . . I was busy, no breast cancer in my family, I gave birth to my children early and breast fed, I was not overweight and worked out often. A year later at the next camp Toni, a fiery Puerto Rican, put her hand on her hip and a finger in my face and asked again. Hearing that I still had not made an appointment she threatened to make an appointment for me if I was ‘unable’ to call and make one of my own. That appointment saved my life. I was diagnosed with a breast cancer in my left, a type that would not have formed into a lump.
2. How did you react when you heard the news?
It took the air out of my chest. It was shocking news.
3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?
Lumpectomies and Mammosite
4. What most surprised you about your treatment?
How we could not get clear margins with multiple surgeries.
5. What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
Talk to someone who has been there, done that. Others, although they might be trying to help, often tell you frightening stories with disastrous endings.
6. How long have you been cancer free?
7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?
You need from the very beginning to ask questions, follow your gut, be your own cheerleader and start living life to its fullest. 13 years later I still run Cancer Camps and encourage all survivors to do everything in your power to become a Thriver after your treatments are done.
8. If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
Get your annual mammograms and don’t wait until you are 50 to get a baseline mammogram.
Coming from Palm Beach, FL Peggie Sherry has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1975. Her first career was as a Banker for 14 years, leaving banking she became an Independent Television Producer/Editor for PBS, then in 1999 she started working with cancer patients providing day outings, educational events and weekend camps. She serves and has served on numerous committees and grants at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center since 2005. Ms. Sherry is a grant reviewer for Department of Defense, Susan G. Komen and the Hillsborough Education Foundation. Ms. Sherry also continues to produce/edit for television and video which she has been doing since 1993. Peggie is the Founder of both the Krewe of Agustina and Faces of Courage Foundation and Co-owner of Trohoe Productions.
Ms. Sherry has been honored with many awards, most notably 2014 Aetna Foundation’s Voices of Health Award, Fox News Hometown Hero; Tampa Bay Buccaneers Football Team’s Distinguished Breast Cancer Survivor; eBay Grand Prize Winner “Every Mom’s a Hero” International contest; NASA Honoree for Breast Cancer Survivors; Yoplait Yogurt National Champion; American Red Cross’ Good Neighbor Award; State of FL Speaking of Women’s Health Award; Florida State Daughters of the American Revolution FL State Community Service Award; and Krewe of Agustina’s Diamond Volunteer Award and honored with the Krewe’s Float “Miss Peggie” named for her. Ms Sherry has also been awarded three Telly Awards for video excellence, Videographers Awards and two Communicator Awards.