Meadville Tribune

Our Health

October 23, 2013

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS: Local survivor stories — Kim Goodman

BLOOMING VALLEY — My name is Kim Goodman. I was born, raised and live in Meadville.

When I was asked about telling my story, I was a little unsure. But I am so thankful to so many people and I am so thankful to be where I am today, I couldn’t say no.

2012 didn’t start out very well at all for me. My dad, Bill Goodman, passed away Feb. 13. Then on Dec. 19, I got one of the best Christmas gifts I could have asked for. I adopted my daughter. Throughout the year I had been having pain in my upper chest around my sternum. Whenever I was feeling stressed, the pain seemed to appear, so I passed it off to just being over stressed. After a dear friend convinced me, I made an appointment to see my family doctor about it. My family doctor ordered a mammogram. I will be honest, it was my first experience at having one, so I was nervous. After the mammogram, there was an ultrasound done because of the pain I had been having. I left the hospital that day feeling as I had all along. It was just a pulled muscle. I got a letter from the hospital saying my mammogram was good, so I relaxed a little.

The holidays came and went. 2013 didn’t start off much better than 2012 did. Jan. 4, 2013, I got a phone call at work from my family doctor. She broke the news to me that I have breast cancer. I then had my first of many emotional breakdowns. I went home, texted a friend who is very strong in his faith. After some time talking to him, I put whatever was going to happen to me in God’s hands.

I was referred to a wonderful breast cancer doctor. There began the start of all my testing and visits to other doctors. Many of these doctor visits and testing I left in tears. Having had my mom, Ruth Ann Goodman, work for Hospice of Crawford County, I understood that no one knows where this could lead to.

In the beginning I didn’t want anyone outside of family and the people whom I told to know about the cancer. I am a private person and was just not ready for everyone to find out.

It did take me awhile to “come to terms” (as much as that possibly can be) with the fact that I do have cancer. I have a lot of people who have always been there, willing to listen. I am so thankful for each and every offer. I have also been blessed to find several amazing women who have unfortunately already gone through all I am going through now. They have been there for me to answer questions that only someone who has already been through it and had the same thoughts and feelings could answer.

My breast cancer doctor asked me if I wanted to do my chemo treatment in Meadville or Erie. I chose Meadville. I was then introduced to the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute. As with a lot of my first visits, I was very nervous. I did not know what to prepare myself for. I quickly learned how amazing the people at Barco truly are! From the time you walk in the doors, there is a warm, welcoming feeling. This ranges from the ladies at the front desk to your social worker, your nurses and doctor. Chemo had its ups and downs, but I got through it. During this time you work with your doctor and primary nurse. Ask questions if you aren’t sure of something, if it is not feeling right. I was told this from the beginning. It was something I followed. No matter how large or small the question was, it was answered to the point where I felt comfortable and understood the answer.

All along this “adventure,” I have had people ask me if I as still working or not. When I tell them that I am still working, they seem to be in disbelief. For me, keeping busy is very important. It doesn’t give me time to dwell on “being sick.”

At this point I am a stage four cancer patient. Chemo is done and it did an amazing job, shrinking the cancer to the point of being gone. Now it’s time to concentrate on what I have to do for surgery. I want to have reconstruction done, so the doctor referred me to a great plastic surgeon. I also was referred to a cardiovascular surgeon. The reason for having to see him is because of the cancer laying so long on my sternum it had gone into the bone. At first it wasn’t sure if any of the sternum or other bones would have to be removed. The surgery date hadn’t been set yet, but all the doctors were together in knowing what needed to be done. The date was set for Sept. 5 for surgery. I had so many emotions leading up to that day. Sept. 5 arrived — a very emotional morning. I had three doctors working on me that day. My mom told me surgery time was about six hours and 35 minutes. I am feeling blessed to be feeling as well as I do. I will soon be starting radiation and then after that another surgery for reconstruction.

There is a long road ahead, but as I have said from the start, “I don’t have time to be sick! I have a beautiful daughter to watch grow up!” I just want to say “thank you” to the dear Lord for letting me be where I am today. Thank you to everyone, family and friends, for all their many prayers. And last but not least, I thank my mom, Ruth Ann, my sisters, Janet Hood and Jody Gionti, and niece for all their help. Without you, I couldn’t have done this by myself! Thank you! I love you all!

When the Barco Oncology Institute was built, I thought, what a beautiful building. I will never see the inside of it. Boy, was I wrong! I have spent a lot of time here. I am so thankful it is here! Stay strong!

Text Only
Our Health
  • Don't let a desk job negatively impact your health

    If you’re female, you might want to consider a more physically active career to avoid a variety of cancers.

    July 21, 2014

  • Study focuses on cancer in those who apply pesticides

    This year marks the end of the Agricultural Health Study, a 20-year study of the effects of pesticides on farm workers and their families. Although the study focused on Iowa and North Carolina, there are still some elements that are important for Pennsylvania farmers as well as anyone who handles chemical compounds.

    June 30, 2014

  • Learn to swim and keep drowning at bay

    When you and your family hit the pool or the beach this summer, you need to be aware of a phenomenon known as secondary drowning, or dry drowning.

    June 16, 2014

  • ‘Planting’ the seeds of a better diet this summer

    Summertime is a great time to make improvements to your diet and lifestyle. Despite the conflicting “advice” you may get about diet when reading the popular press (not to mention all of the “food rules”), adding more plants to your diet is always a good idea.

    June 9, 2014

  • Is the idea of drinkable sunscreen worth swallowing?

    Tired of greasy, sticky hands after applying sunscreen? Even the spray-on sunscreens leave you inhaling fumes that you shouldn’t breathe. Well, enter a new era of skincare products: drinkable sunscreen.

    June 3, 2014

  • Survivor stories: Beating cancer with faith and family love

    I recently talked with Rebecca Arbuckle of Meadville to discuss her journey with breast cancer and how she was able to beat it with faith, strength and the love of her family. Although our conversation was upbeat and filled with confidence, there were times that emotion broke through, as it should, for having faced such a battle and won. I am in awe of the people I have had the chance to interview and am honored to share their stories.

    May 27, 2014

  • Uncovering the simple fix to the 'super bug'

    The World Health Organization has identified a serious threat to human health around the globe. Known as a “superbug,” this antimicrobial resistant bacterial infection has been coined “AMR” (Antimicrobial Resistance).

    May 19, 2014

  • Get educated about high blood pressure and eating better

    May is High Blood Pressure Education Month, and one in three Americans have it. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading risk factor for stroke. Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” since you may feel no apparent symptoms. Yet, high blood pressure will cause damage to the blood vessels, brain and heart over time.

    May 13, 2014

  • Researchers: colon cleansing health benefits a myth

    Researchers have found that while colon cleansing has been around since ancient times, the health benefits are basically a myth.

    May 5, 2014

  • Prescription for Medical Nutrition Therapy

    Nutrition is a vital part of being well, and an even more important part to getting well (or healing). It’s a critical part of prevention, yet if I surveyed physicians or lay people, and asked them “Does diet therapy work?” chances are at least 70 percent of them would say “No.”

    April 21, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide