‘I joined a sorority that none of us pledged to join:’ Local woman fights, beats cancer twice
Her diagnoses came on the same date 8 years apart
MADISON, Wis. — What date will you never forget?
For Roxie Kolasch, it’s not a birthday, an anniversary, or a career milestone. It’s July 24: the day she was diagnosed with breast cancer– twice.
The first was in 2006. 9:23 a.m., to be exact.
“I was sitting in my office and received the call,” remembered Kolasch. “Then, on July 24, 2014 at 10:36 a.m., while sitting in my office, I was diagnosed for a second time.”
Kolasch called her first diagnosis a real wake-up call.
“The first time I heard the words, ‘It is cancer,'” she said, “I was scared out of my mind.”
Kolasch had just turned 41 with no family history.
“The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘How do I tell my boys?'” she said.
Her sons were 10 and 12 at the time.
“You worry, ‘Am I going to see them grow up?’ What’s going to happen to me?”
Kolasch had a million questions, except for one.
“I never asked, ‘Why me?’ That’s kinda not who I am,” said Kolasch. “But now, it’s like, ‘What do I do now?'”
After several rounds of radiation, Kolasch was cancer-free, until her bi-annual mammogram eight years later showed the cancer had come back. Like the first time, her particular type of cancer wasn’t a lump. It was in the tissue, making it detectable only by a mammogram.
“I’ll hear friends and family say, ‘Oh I skipped my mammogram this year,’ and I turn into the Hulk,” Kolasch joked.
Kolasch has now made it her mission to spread the word about mammograms and debunking misconceptions, like the one that breast cancer is always a lump.
“While self-checks are important, mammograms are even more important,” said Kolasch.
She knows, because they saved her life… twice.
“People have said to me, ‘Oh you’re so amazing,’ because you’ve survived breast cancer,” said Kolasch. “But I don’t see myself as amazing. I just see myself as one of those women that joined a sorority that none of us pledged to join.”
Nowadays, for Kolasch, July 24 is a date filled with hope. “I always try and do something fun that day, whether it’s going to lunch with a friend, or my husband and I just hanging out and doing something fun.”
June 8 is the next date on Kolasch’s calendar: this year’s “More Than Pink” walk.
News 3 Now This Morning is highlighting the stories of local women fighting for a cure to end breast cancer all month long in our “Why We Walk” series. You can find last week’s story here.
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