Sherry - Breast Cancer Survivor
“After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my cousin’s son did a four day sun dance with no water or food to take on my suffering for me. My sister never missed an appointment with me. My nephew got his entire rodeo team to wear pink shirts with my name on the back. Men all over Hardin wore pink sashes for me. Women are really honored and respected by men in my culture.
But when I first found out I had cancer, I wanted to be by myself. I wanted to do the treatments by myself. But my 91 year old mother told me not to turn anyone away, so I had to listen. I’m grateful for that. I have a big family. Four sisters and 22 nieces and nephews. Getting breast cancer made us all closer, especially with my nephews.
When I started losing my hair, my nephew asked his wife to cut it off for me. I had not cut my hair since 1984. I lost 3 feet of it. She cried when she cut the pony tail.
Accessing health care can be hard on the reservation. There is also a reluctance to seek care for some. But when I was 15 I went to an Indian boarding school where I got used to medical doctors and nurses, so I’ve always been good about getting myself checked for things. I teach all of my nieces and nephews about it now. Tell them to talk about their health. They listen now. Doctors and nurses saved their aunt. I am #1in8."