Tuesday, October 13, 2015

We're taking charge: Pam Kenworthy

Pam Kenworthy loves to crochet, but not for herself. “I never keep anything,” she says of her creations. “I always give afghans or whatever I make away.” One of those recent projects was for her 5-year-old granddaughter: It was a pastel-colored afghan that looked like it was made out of Legos. Pam’s been a wife for 41 years, and is mom to one daughter and two grandchildren. She’s worked at CoxHealth for 37 years, and currently is an office assistant for Cox Medical Group’s Care Management Services. “I feel like I’ve been here all my life,” she jokes.

That is Pam. There’s another part of her story, however, that began with a mammogram. Two years ago, that yearly visit led to the discovery of a cluster that needed a biopsy. “And that’s when they told me it was cancer,” says Pam. On Aug. 22, 2013, she was diagnosed with Ductal carcinoma in situ.

Pam wasn’t a stranger to the “c” word – her husband had been diagnosed with prostate cancer the year before – but her discovery was a surprise. That’s because with Pam’s type of cancer, “you don’t feel anything,” she says. And while her cancer was confined to the milk duct, “if I hadn’t of had my yearly mammogram, at some point it would’ve become invasive,” she notes.

Even at this early stage, the cancer still needed to be removed and Pam underwent a mastectomy. “I just had a peace about it and knew everything would be OK,” says Pam. “And by the grace of God it has been.”

But the experience has changed Pam: She’s now an advocate. “I am now on a mission to let women know that they need to have mammograms,” says Pam. “After I came back to work, I even asked to talk to the clinic managers at their monthly meeting to let them know of the importance.”

Why, you ask? “You have to," says Pam. "You can’t not have one.” And really -- “why would you not have a mammogram?”

Wise words. If you’re ready to schedule your mammogram, call 417-269-LADY (Springfield), Just call 417-269-LADY (Springfield) 417-348-8313 (Branson) or 417-354-1138 (Monett) or click here for more information: http://bit.ly/1MbqCTy