Over the course of the next five months, O'Bryan underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy treatments followed by a double mastectomy, and nearly a month of daily radiation treatments. Never the quitter, O'Bryan continued to work her job at LG&E throughout her treatments, taking radiation treatments during her lunch breaks.
"The more normal stuff I could do, the more normal I would feel," reasoned O'Bryan.
It is now nearly 10 months after O'Bryan finished her treatments. She continues to receive quarterly check-ups, but remains cancer free.
"Once you're diagnosed, you're put in this class and people come out of the woodwork," O'Bryan said. "It's like a club. A club you don't want to be a member of."
It was this club that gathered on the Churchill Downs racetrack Friday before a crowd of 112,552, just before the 138th running of the Kentucky Oaks. Nominations for female cancer survivors were accepted during one week in March. The top 138 vote-getters won tickets for themselves and a guest to attend the 2012 Kentucky Oaks and participate in the Survivors Parade which began at the backside and culminated in the paddock just prior to the race.
"Last year we watched the Oaks and saw the Survivors Parade," Strange said. It was at this moment that Strange realized she’d have to nominate her mother to participate in the parade the following year. "I felt like she deserved it; something to celebrate that she made it through."
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