Breast cancer patient: “I’m the healthiest I’ve been in a long time”

Two years ago Nina Coley was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now she is setting her sights on new adventures.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes,

The way Nina Coley looks at life is this: “When you get a diagnosis that makes you check your mortality and reality, you live differently.”

She’s an example of what that life looks like after diagnosis. After working 35 years with the U.S. Postal Service, Coley retired and is studying to obtain her real estate license. She’s also working through a “bucket list” that includes taking a cruise to the Panama Canal, traveling to Dubai, and visiting several national parks.

And she’s speaking out about the importance of screening and early detection of breast cancer. She’s participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the IU Health Breast Cancer Coffee Club, and Making Strides of Hendricks County Walk.

She is also taking part in an exhibit this month “Looking Forward: Beauty. Pride. Defiance” by photographer and writer John Sherman. The exhibit features photographic profiles of 12 women who either were undergoing chemotherapy at the time of the photo shoot or who had chemo treatments in the past. Coley was 19 months past diagnosis when she was photographed. The exhibit continues through the end of the month at the Harrison Center, 1505 N. Delaware St.

Coley, the mother to Chasneen, and grandmother to Monica, was diagnosed two years ago with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in the left breast and HER2-Positive, Estrogen Positive, in the right breast. Under the care of IU Health hematologist/oncologist Dr. Sridhar R. Bolla she underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and 26 radiation treatments. Dr. Mary Lester performed surgery – a bi-lateral procedure.

It had been five years between mammograms when Coley discovered her cancer. She completed her last treatment on Aug. 1, 2018.

“I am so fortunate to have an amazing team at IU Health,” said Coley. “I’m the healthiest I’ve been in a long time and I owe it all to the great care I received and my relationship with God. To him be the glory.”