East Texas breast cancer patient shares her mental health journey, expresses need for more local support groups

'A Long, Hard Journey' as East Texan wishes for more support groups
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 11:20 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) -A long hard journey. That is the way an East Texas woman describes her battle against breast cancer.

Sarah Plummer, a former Special Ed teacher, was diagnosed with hormone positive breast cancer in October of last year. She expresses after her diagnosis, things moved very fast due to the aggressiveness of the disease. Just two months after being diagnosed, Sarah started chemotherapy.

However, apart from the physical battle against breast cancer, there was another fight she was battling...One that was very internal.

“And I could tell that it was having an issue with my mental health.”

According to studies by the National Cancer Institute, one in three people with cancer experience mental or emotional distress. Breast cancer patients make up 42% of that population.

Chris Legg, lead therapist at Alethia Counseling, says he’s worked with various cancer patients and explains these people are often feeling many emotions at once.

“All the emotions are there, all the doubts are there, all the fears are there, as is true of anything that’s going to be life or death.”

And when it came to finding others like her in the community, Sarah expresses it was a challenge

“What I wanted was support from other women who’s gone through it. And I looked and there are Facebook pages and there are pages on Facebook. Um, but there’s not any around here in East Texas.”

Support from other patients that therapist Legg says is crucial.

“With breast cancer awareness, if someone is dealing with, and has gotten the diagnosis of breast cancer, one of the first things I want them to find is someone who is further along the path than they are, who can be a mentor for them, a guide for them”

So far, Sarah says she’s been able to connect with some women on Facebook battling the same journey, however she hasn’t seen any in person.

She expresses how having a local organization uniting breast cancer patients and survivors would help make the journey easier.

“You know, we’re the only ones that know. So having that other woman to just talk to and tell them, hey, this is what I’m going through. Oh, yeah, I’m going through that also. It really, really helps”

Hoping to combat this problem, Sarah herself has created a Facebook support group where she hopes to bring together more people on this same journey. It’s called “Breast Cancer Support East Texas”, she says she hopes that through her story more people can unite to help the breast cancer community.

She also has a personal support page, if you would like to follow her journey you can give her page a follow-on Facebook at “Tippy Toe’s Breast Cancer Journey”.