- Associated Press - Sunday, June 22, 2014

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - Tehra Scott refused to let breast cancer slow her down.

Scott, an avid runner, wants to run a marathon in all 50 states, and had finished 21 marathons in 15 states before Nov. 15, 2012. That was the day she had a mammogram and, after calcifications were found in her breast tissue, a biopsy.

“I really didn’t think anything of it,” Scott said.

It was Scott’s third biopsy in three years, but because Scott’s mother, Paige, was diagnosed with breast cancer at 42 years old, Scott began having examinations at a relatively early age, and the biopsies had started to seem routine.

“This time it was a little different. This time they found breast cancer,” she said.

Scott, 38, is a Mitchell resident and an honorary co-chair for the 17th Annual Heart and Sole Cancer Walk and Run. The other honorary co-chairs for this year’s event are Joni Rasmussen, of Mitchell, and Tanna Kingsbury, of Letcher. The event raises money for local people undergoing cancer treatment, and raised nearly $65,000 last year.

Scott remembers the moment on Nov. 20, 2012, when she found out she had cancer. She was at piano lessons with her two daughters, Cailey, 13, and Lauren, 9.

“It was a shock,” Scott said. “But in a way, I think I had prepared myself that this was eventually going to happen.”

Scott’s cancer was still in an early stage, which meant it still could be surgically removed. On Dec. 7, 2012, a few weeks after being diagnosed, Scott had a double mastectomy, and then began a long recovery and reconstruction process.

“That’s when the whirlwind kind of started,” she said.

After her surgery, Scott was told she would probably not need any further treatment. But then tissue tests revealed areas of concern. She was told she would need to have radiation treatment, and possibly chemotherapy.

After getting second opinions from other doctors and talking with her family, Scott decided to forego chemotherapy, which she feared would cause problematic side effects.

So, from Feb. 6, 2013, to March 13, 2013, Scott made daily trips to Sioux Falls for radiation treatment.

“We just tried to make the best of it,” she said. “Every day on the way to radiation I would try to look for something funny or silly.”

Scott credits the positive outlook she maintained during her treatment to the support of her family, including her mother and stepfather, who live near Jamestown, North Dakota, but moved in with the family for two months after her first surgery and returned at various times during the treatment process. Scott is an assistant swim coach for the Mitchell Aquatic Club, and members of the group brought her meals for a month after her surgery. Scott’s husband, Chris, said her outlook never wavered during treatment.

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