CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - If you see someone skipping down the halls of CaroMont Regional Medical Center, it might be our April Survivor of the Month. Claudia Frazier says she tries to be an encouragement to everyone she encounters.
"She's a real survivor," Trevor Edmond says about her sister who is a single mom and has battled Breast Cancer not once, but twice.
Six years ago, Claudia went to her doctor for a normal physical and asked her doctor if she should have a mammogram. Since she was only 36 years old at the time, her doctor dismissed her saying she wasn't old enough to need one. Then, when she woke up one morning and felt a lump, a mammogram, and even more tests were in order.
Doctors couldn't tell what the lump was when she had her first mammogram, but just a few days after having a lumpectomy, Claudia was told she had cancer and to get to her doctor immediately.
At the time, Claudia's daughter was in the 6th grade. Knowing chemo was in store, Claudia wanted her to go live with her father for a while. The preteen refused and told her mom that she wouldn't be able to forgive herself for leaving if something happened to her mom.
Claudia was able to continue working through her first bout with cancer and was able to schedule chemotherapy and radiation treatments so they didn't interfere with her hours at CaroMont Regional Medical Center. That was not the case the second time.
Six years to the month after cancer number one, a mammogram showed some sort of mass. Doctors didn't know if it was scar tissue or just a shadow. A biopsy showed that it was cancer again.
This time she was out of work for six months, had a double mastectomy and reconstruction, and feared for her family's finances. She says she would not have made it through without the support of her family, or her employer.
Even after two life threatening encounters Edmond says her sister is a "go-getter" and "cares about everyone else more than her self."
Now, like so many survivors, Claudia says she's had a shift in perspective, "appreciate life and don't let things stress you."
She says cancer has caused her to also appreciate friends and reconnect with people from her past. Seeing how important her support system was, she wants to be there for others "with a smile on my face and a song in my heart."
She's taken that attitude to some of the patients she meets at CaroMont. She's given her phone number to women she meets at the hospital who are going through their own battles with cancer. Sometimes people just need a sounding board, or has questions about the process, and she wants to be a helping hand or crying shoulder for anybody who needs her help.