Surviving Cancer

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WLVT) - Peggy Iachetta was just 27 years old when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She says she couldn't believe it. "I just didn't think it could be breast cancer, you just didn't hear as much about younger women getting that, it wasn't in my family at all."

Despite her fear, she aggressively started fighting. She underwent a lumpectomy, 4 rounds of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation therapy.

"It was just a very scary experience, your whole life flashes in front of you and we wanted to start a family and hadn't done that yet so it was just a really trying time," says Peggy.

Jack Evans signed up for a free PSA, or Prostate Specific Antigen screening, at UT Medical Center. "The doctor said if you hear from me it's bad news, if you hear from a nurse it's good news, well, I heard from him."

Jack says at first he brushed off the diagnosis. "I jokingly said to my Urologist, I said, well Prostate Cancer is something you live with, you don't die from, well, I was totally mistaken."

Mistaken, because at age 60, he would have to fight for his life.

Jack had his prostate removed. "Fortunately we'd found it at the early stage so the removal took care of that and I've had a clean report since that time."

Peggy and Jack now both work at the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute.
Peggy works in the Breast Outreach Program and Jack volunteers.

Peggy hopes people will realize they can beat cancer. "Hopefully let people see that success story and that teaching them that if they find it early the chances of beating breast cancer are great and that's the key, finding it as early as you can."

Jack also hopes his success story helps others fighting cancer. "If they want to talk about their situation, we do that, but me being a survivor, I can see it in their eyes, hey, you're a survivor, there's hope for me."

They both realize how much the experience has changed their own lives.

Jack says he's a better person. "I enjoy life much more because I've been given a second opportunity to do that and I see the value in life probably more so."

Peggy has two sons. "I feel like if i had ignored that lump, I might not be here today and they wouldn't be here either."

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