Breast cancer survivor gives back to her supportive community - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Breast cancer survivor gives back to her supportive community

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TRI-CITIES, WA - "You have cancer." The terrifying words no one ever wants to hear.

As we get ready to celebrate those who beat cancer, and remember those we've lost during breast cancer awareness month, reporter Mackenzie Allen spoke with one survivor whose battle inspired her to help others.

Megan Sisemore was just 31 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"My little one was only 14, 15 months, so she doesn't really remember much," Sisemore said. "She just thinks I've always had short curly hair, which I never did. My older one, she remembers."

She only caught the cancer because a gut feeling had her get the genetic test, about a decade before most women have their first mammogram. 

"The testing is the one and only thing that led to the MRIs and the biopsies and to dig further and that's how I found it, there were absolutely no symptoms," she said.

Treatment included a double mastectomy, four rounds of chemo, 35 rounds of radiation, and a hysterectomy. 

It was an uphill battle she says she survived in large part because of community support.

"Family and community and everyone came together so amazingly wonderful, and that is what really got me through it," said Sisemore. "It was amazing, more than I could ever say...thank you thank you thank you, so humbling, it helped me so much to get through it."

And now, she's returning the favor as an oncology nurse.

"It is so amazing to be able to look across the room at someone who has gone through it and see, 'hey, I can be there someday.' So it made me want to become an oncology nurse after I went through my treatment."

Her biggest advice?

Get tested - especially if you have a family history.

"They say 40; if you feel like you want to be proactive, you just go with your gut, it's important." 

If you believe you are at high risk for breast cancer, or need help paying testing, call the Tri-Cities Cancer Center. They have people who can answer your questions and connect you with the services you need.