By Savanah Bandy
Cancer doesn’t mess with Cathie Burrows anymore because this woman is a FIGHTER. Yes, that is FIGHTER in all capitals!
In May 2015, Cathie was diagnosed not only with breast cancer but with endometrial cancer as well. In an instant, her life came to a screeching halt. Not only was Cathie facing double surgery, she learned the gynecology surgeon at her hospital did not do cancer surgery, and she would have to travel for treatment.
“Long story short, I chose to go to the Cancer Treatment Center of America,” Cathie said. “On contacting them, they did all the work contacting insurance companies, and I ultimately chose to travel to Atlanta, Georgia, for my treatment. I was comfortable the minute I walked into the center, and I do not regret having to travel that far for all my treatments.”
On October 3, 2020, she had double surgery to remove the cancer in her breast and a full hysterectomy in the same day.
“I had the choice. I could’ve had two separate surgeries, but I don’t like operations as it is, so I said let’s just go,” she said.
“It wasn’t the easiest thing to go through, but I was glad I did it the way I did. My breast surgeon was chief of staff, my gynecology team were the lead gynecology doctors. I had the most wonderful surgical, medical, oncology and radiology team, and God provided everything for me.”
Cathie got through surgery, but she still had a long journey ahead of her. She returned to Atlanta for four rounds of chemotherapy followed by 19 rounds of radiation.
“I only had four chemos, and they were three weeks apart, from the end of October to the end of January. Then I had 19 rounds of radiation every day in the month of February. I stayed in their hospital hotel the whole time. I went down to pay for my room — I had to pay part of it — and it was $4,000. When I went to pay my bill, the woman at the desk looked it up and she said, ‘Your bill has been paid.’ I don’t know who paid it or how it got paid. God arranged it.”
Cathie also gives credit to her husband for helping her get through.
“My husband was my rock,” she said. “He was my caregiver, and if anyone came to the house to see me, he stood at the door with the hand sanitizer and would ask, ‘Do you have a fever, a cold, have you been in touch with anyone with a cold?’ He wouldn’t let anyone in to see me without checking first.”
Today, Cathie is fully cancer free and enjoys giving back to those in need. She loves to knit and crochet — two activities that helped her keep her mind and hands busy as she fought cancer. She is in a group called Cancer Fighters, and she crochets hats for NICU babies. As of this writing, she has made over 1,000 hats.
“I am happy to say that now, five years later, I have no signs of the cancer and have returned to a full, happy life,” she said. “I give all the credit to God, who watched over me and brought the people into my life to take care of me during my recovery.”
For more cancer survivor stories, see our October print edition or read more in our digital edition or magazine archived stories.