Family is motivation for breast cancer survivor

Posted at 5:22 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2018-06-19 15:00:55-04

Women are told all the time to get their annual mammograms. Doctors say the ones who follow that advice give themselves a much better chance at survival.

One Waco woman can attest to that.

Doctors discovered Cindy Thornton’s breast cancer after a mammogram in 2015. She says she’s alive today because of not only that test, but also her friends and family.

Thornton’s daughter, Jennifer Warren, will never forget her wedding day.

"I sometimes buckle under stress so I was worried I was going to be a bridezilla,” Warren said.

She fought back tears of joy as she remembered Oct. 3, 2015.

"The moment I got to say I do to my best friend was one of the best moments of my life,” Warren said.

She said that moment happened at the Carleen Bright Arboretum in Woodway.

"So, this place holds a special meaning to me,” Warren said.

Warren was back at the arboretum Wednesday more than a year later fighting back tears of fear recounting another day, Nov. 18, 2015.

"It was the worst day of my life,” Warren said.

It was the day her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I had a mammogram every year because I was scared of breast cancer,” Thornton said.

After the mammogram and diagnosis, Thornton said she went through chemotherapy and got a mastectomy all while continuing to work.

"I want grand babies. I want grand babies. So, if that's what it takes, it is what it is,” Thornton said.

It was an attitude Thornton kept even after losing her hair and shaving her head with her daughter.

"It was tearful. I cried. My daughter cried because she said it was the first time she saw an outward sign that I was sick. The girl that cuts my hair cried because she'd never shaved anyone's head for cancer,” Thornton said. “Then, we got over it.”

Once she got over the cancer, and her hair started growing back, Thornton got a nick name from her husband.

"The term scruffy came to mind, she looked scruffy. So, that's my little pet name for her right now,” said Larry Thornton.

Thornton said those kinds of jokes, and her support system made up of family, friends, doctors and nurses, are what helped her beat the disease.

"Amazing. Amazing, because they were there for everything,” Thornton said.

Warren fought back tears of relief Wednesday celebrating her mother’s recovery. It’s a far cry from where they were nearly a year ago.

"To be here a year later and know that she's OK and we’re going to be able to make memories further down the road, I'm more than OK, I'm so good right now,” Warren said. “I just keep hoping we get those positive test results and she's going to be A-OK from here on out."

Thornton said she encourages all women to get their yearly mammograms done. For more information on the test, click here.

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