Taking that first step
From the moment you meet Angie, you quickly realize one thing – she’s a powerhouse of energy with a quick and quirky sense of humor that makes you laugh out loud. You can feel her joy and zest for life the moment you hear her speak. Even when she’s telling the story of her cancer journey.
After losing her job in Fort Wayne, Angie needed a change of scenery and a chance to regroup. She decided to move in with her parents in South Bend for a while. She was there about a year when she found the lump. It was Valentine’s Day 2013. She called a cancer hotline for advice and they told her, “If it hurts and it moves, it’s not cancer.”
But in May, just two days after she lost her dog to cancer, her entire right side went numb. Angie knew it was time to take that first step. Within hours of her ultrasound at Memorial Hospital, she received a call from diagnostic radiologist Dr. Alan Engel at the Breast Care Center. He wanted to see her immediately.
“As soon as he told me he wanted to do a biopsy, I was a complete flight risk,” Angie laughs. “I freaked out, lost my mind.” Her grandmother had breast cancer twice, which she admits should have been a good enough reason for her to get the biopsy. But, again, fear had her procrastinating. In August, Angie received a call from Dr. Engel’s nurse, Kelly, who told her, “You need to get your butt back in here.”
“I couldn’t put it off any longer,” she says. “But from day one, Dr. Engel and I had a great relationship. As soon as he took the biopsy, I saw the look on his face and told him: do not call me with the results! I don’t want to be in Walmart and find out I have cancer.”
Knowing how scared she was – and her tendency to procrastinate, Dr. Engel and Kelly set her up for two appointments three days later. One to get the results. The other was with oncologist Dr. Tom Reid. Angie had breast cancer.
Amy was literally like an angel to me in that moment. – Angie