IU Health University Hospital nurse Lori Harman recently celebrated the end of chemo with the same co-workers who supported her throughout her diagnosis and treatment.
It was August of 2017 when Lori Harman got a diagnosis that she was all too familiar with. She works as an oncology nurse and the words she heard were: Breast Cancer.
Married to Gabe Harmon, an IU Health police officer, and the mother of Gabriel Harmon, she discovered the lump in her right breast through a self examine. Her doctor Carla Fisher ordered a biopsy that revealed two spots on Harman’s right breast and a spot in her left lymph node. She began chemotherapy on September 11. Harmon was often spotted at work with her IV pole pumping fluids into her system during treatment.
She went through six cycle of Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy and sentinel lymph node dissection followed by four more weeks of chemotherapy.
“The pathology came back with no cancer and all margins clear – a complete response. I continued with Herceptin targeted therapy infusion every 3 weeks for 1 year,” said Harmon.
Her co-workers in the Multi-D clinic organized benefits and offered emotional support during her treatment so when she recently rang the bell – signaling and end to a year of therapy – naturally they were present to celebrate.
October is Breast Cancer Prevention Month – a time to raise awareness of the most common cancer among women. It is estimated that more than 2 million women will be diagnosed by the end of this year. Doctors recommend regular screenings including mammograms – as the most reliable source for early detection.
“I encourage all of my coworkers to take selfies, wearing their pink gowns when they get their mammies. It’s a way to encourage others,” said Harman.
— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
Reach Banes via email at T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.