“Initially, Sue was torn about whether she wanted to be treated with chemotherapy,” Rai says. “We had many conversations about her cancer, treatment and prognosis. I was happy to see that she eventually decided to go with treatment, and I noticed a change in her attitude once she decided to be treated.”
Weaver received six chemotherapy treatments every three weeks at LVHN Cancer Center–Schuylkill, completing treatment in January 2020.
Weaver says receiving care near home meant a lot. “That was such a huge blessing to stay local,” she says. And not just for treatments but critical emotional support. “They took my ‘ugly cry’ phone calls. I never felt rushed. They always took care of me.”
Rai recalls Weaver’s positive attitude. “She had a very positive attitude towards her treatment and took it all in stride. She refused to let cancer define her,” says Rai. “Her husband, Bob, was very supportive and kept her motivated. We were all so happy when she completed her chemotherapy and ‘rang the bell.’”
Riding through cancer
In February 2020, Weaver’s cancer treatment shifted to radiation therapy. She had 19 treatments, while simultaneously receiving targeted infusion therapy of Herceptin® and Perjeta® every three weeks. During that time, she recalls sweet memories with her husband, Bob, who would take her on car rides to get her out of the house.
“We ended up in areas of Schuylkill County that we’d never been to before, always on the hunt for chicken noodle soup, because it was all I could eat at the time,” she says.
Treatment through pandemic
Even though COVID-19 also was at its height, Weaver diligently continued her treatment. “I put my mask on, said a prayer, went in and got it done. I did not miss any treatment due to COVID,” she says. “And I never felt unsafe.”
Grace for today
Weaver finished targeted therapy treatments in September 2020 and is now living cancer-free.
She takes an estrogen-blocking pill every day, and sees her care team once every three months.
“My mantra was (and still is) ‘Grace for today’. I just had to do that day. I didn’t have to do tomorrow,” she says. “Anxiety is when we want tomorrow’s grace today. I just realized I shouldn’t be so worried about the future. God got me through it. I didn’t think I’d ever feel good again, but I feel pretty good now.”
And she hopes to help other women struggling with breast cancer. “In her follow-up visits, I was not surprised when Sue talked about giving back to the community. She donated to the cancer center, which I know has helped a lot of patients,” says Rai. “Her daughter, who has a wonderful coffee shop, also has sent food trucks with coffee for our patients. Her story of strength will no doubt offer reassurance to other women that they too can get through this.”