DAVIS JUNCTION – Kim Kubly Knew it was coming.
Breast cancer ran in her family. Two of her aunts had had the disease, and her sister had died of breast cancer in 2006.
But when she felt a lump in her breast during a self examination, which a doctor then confirmed was cancer, she was still devastated.
“But my whole view of it was, 'OK, now let's beat it,'” she said during a recent interview at the SwedishAmerican clinic in Davis Junction, where she lives and works. “It was all gung-ho from there.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it has been seven years since Kubly was diagnosed with it. But she has been aware of the deadly disease much longer.
Her sister was diagnosed when she was not quite 25 years old. Kubly said her sister fought hard, but lost her battle after nearly 10 years.
Because her sister was so young, Kubly too began getting mammograms at a young age. She also began doing self-breast examinations, which is how she found a lump. She was diagnosed when she was 39.
Now 46, Kubly said when she found out she was ready for the fight. She said she was very direct with her doctor.
“'Just keep me alive,'” she said she told him, “'do what we need to do.' I was ready for the fight.”
She underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive breast surgery. Also on the advice of her doctors, she had a full hysterectomy.
Kubly said that did not concern her, as she had three children – two girls and a boy. But she said it was very scary for her kids, especially her daughters, who were older than her son and had seen their aunt die from the disease.
“They were pretty scared that I was going to die,” she said.
After surgery, Kubly went through chemotherapy, which she said was “hell. That's the only way to describe it.”
She has since recovered, but praises the help of those around her during the ordeal.
“I couldn't have done it without a lot of my family and friends who were rocks for me, helped guide me through it,” said Kubly, who was born and raised in Davis Junction.
And her advice to anyone who is diagnosed is to be willing to fight, and let your friends and family be your support.
She said doing self examinations early in life is a key. She said women need to be aware of their bodies and not be afraid to have things checked out.
It has been seven years since she was diagnosed, and Kubly said it has certainly changed her outlook.
“I try not to take much for granted,” she said with a smile, “enjoy every day you can.”