- Associated Press - Saturday, October 22, 2016

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - Peggy Fisher sat at the edge of her doctor’s exam table nearly one year ago, the situation all too familiar.

This was her second time going through tests following a breast cancer diagnosis, but this time it was much worse. She was 14 years older than when she previously had the disease. Not to mention, knowing that she would face numerous surgeries again made her worry, could she conquer cancer twice?

She clearly remembers that feeling of dread.

“I can still see myself on that (table), sitting there saying, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this again,’” she said.

Fisher had her first breast cancer diagnosis in 2001. The second diagnosis was similar to her first in that she felt no signs or symptoms. Only a mammogram helped detect it, which she scheduled every year because her mother had died of breast cancer in her 60s.

Fisher received her mammogram results by phone call, just 10 minutes before she was supposed to teach a communications class at Ball State University. Emotions running high, Fisher broke down in front of her students. As a result, they were the first to know.

From that moment onward, those students and the staff members in her department were with her through the recovery.

Fisher received her mammogram results by phone call, just 10 minutes before she was supposed to teach a communications class at Ball State University. Emotions running high, Fisher broke down in front of her students. As a result, they were the first to know.

From that moment onward, those students and the staff members in her department were with her through the recovery.

Last year was the group’s 20th anniversary celebration, making the event even bigger.

Jeannine Lee Lake, Feed My Sheep’s current chairperson, said she remembers Fisher storing what looked like 1,000 bags of groceries in her garage before the dinner began. Lake also remembers Fisher being near the point of collapse at dinner itself.

“We were like, ‘Peg, go home,’” Lake said. “But I know her. She wanted to be there. That was part of her healing.”

And healing is what she did. Last summer, after the final round of treatment, the second round of cancer was gone. She used her backyard pool to ease pressure on her recovering joints. For a while, it was the only place where her body didn’t hurt.

Most recently, Fisher has gone on runs and done workouts with her son, Adam Byers, who is training for boot camp. The exercises have given her enough strength to walk her three rescue dogs around the neighborhood. One of those dogs, Skipper, has been with her for 17 years, before even her first breast cancer diagnosis.

She said she might get tired for a few days afterward, but each walk gets longer and longer, as does each workout.

“I’m feeling stronger. I feel good,” she said.

Fisher hopes she won’t have to sit on that doctor’s exam table again, feeling that same dread. Now, cancer-free for the second time, she’s getting back to a sense of normalcy, as she puts it. Her blonde locks are growing back. She’s still teaching, minus the constant nausea. And she’ll be there when Feed My Sheep hosts its Thanksgiving Dinner 1-3 p.m. Nov. 24 with enough energy to help serve more than 1,000 meals.

“She’s not a quitter. She’s tough as nails,” Lake said. “If there was anybody who was going to beat cancer twice, it was her.”

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Source: The (Muncie) Star-Press, https://tspne.ws/2e9Re07

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Information from: The Star Press, https://www.thestarpress.com


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