Spurlock ‘fights like a girl’

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 9, 2009

Jeff Spurlock was in London with some of his Troy University students when he got word that his wife, Amy, had breast cancer.

Together with his students, Spurlock went to Westminster Abby and prayed for Amy.

“That was perhaps the hardest part,” Amy Spurlock said. “Not having Jeff here with me.”

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It was a hot July day in Alabama when Amy went to the Breast Center in Montgomery for her annual mammogram. She went alone. “It was just a routine visit.”

But the visit turned out to be anything but routine.

“Now, you can know the results of your mammogram immediately,” Amy said.

“I cried all the way home. I didn’t know how to tell my boys. I didn’t know what stage the cancer was in and I thought, ‘This is what’s going to kill me.”

Amy’s sons responded in different ways and her husband with love and prayers across the miles.

“The doctors were wonderful. They kept me involved every step of the way,” Amy said.

Through a BRCA test, Amy learned that because of genetic mutations, she had an 87 percent chance of having cancer in her other breast.

“I also had a family history of breast cancer, so I didn’t want to take that chance,” she said. “I didn’t want to have to go through the same thing again so I chose to have a double mastectomy.”

Amy said the BRAC test is performed on women who are in the high-risk category.

Her sister was tested and tested high.

“For those in the 87 percent high risk category, having a mastectomy will mean no radiation, no chemotherapy, nothing that I’m facing,” Amy said. “Even though the doctors feel confident that they got all of the cancer, the chemo was still recommended. I’ll have eight chemo treatments and I’m going to lose my hair but I have a chance now to live so I can put up with the icky side effects.”

Amy said so much has been done in the way of cancer research that is making treatment easier for cancer patients.

“But the big thing is the early detection methods,” she said. “Mammograms and the BRCA I test are saving lives every day. Some women are afraid to go to have a mammogram because they are afraid of what they might find. But the real fear is not finding a cancer in time. We can win these battles and the sooner a cancer is detected, the greater your chance of beating it.”

The love of family and friends and the prayers of so many have given Amy Spurlock a reason to smile during very difficult times.

“I so much appreciate all of the kindnesses that have been shown to me and my family,” she said. “I’m so thankful for the doctors and nurses who work so hard in this battle against cancer and for the work that is being done every day through the American Cancer Society to find ways to detect and treat this disease.”

One way that others may join to fight against cancer is by participating in the Fight Like A Girl 5K and One Mile Fun Run on Saturday, Oct. 10 in downtown Troy.

The 5K will begin at 8 a.m. and the Fun Run at 9 a.m.

The pre-registration fee for the 5K is $25 and for the one-mile run/walk, $15.

On-site registration Saturday is an additional $5 for both the run and the run/walk.

Those who are pre-registered are guaranteed a tee shirt and a goodie bag. All proceeds benefit the 2010 Pike County Relay for Life campaign.

To pre-register, e-mail jason@jonesmed.com, call 556-1002 or pick up a form at Jones Medical Supply, 519-A South Brundidge Street in Troy.

Immediately following the 5K events, Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford will sign a proclamation designating a special time of awareness about cancer and celebrate those who have claimed victory over the devastating disease.

A short survivors’ walk and survivor balloons will be released following the proclamation signing. Everyone is invited to be a part of this special event.