“Every day is a fight”: Harrison Co. breast cancer survivor uses hobby to bring joy to others during her journey

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Kentucky survivor shares personal journey
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 7:02 PM EDT
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CYNTHIANA, Ky. (WKYT) -October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and during the Covid 19 pandemic many women delayed their regular breast cancer screenings.

We know early detection can be key in finding cancer and treating sooner.

For October in partnership with Kentucky CancerLink we are sharing survivor stories, women using their personal journey to be a link to hope and encourage others to get screened.

For one Harrison County young woman in the fight of her life she is choosing positivity and using a hobby to still spread joy to others.

A quilt is like art, the fabric the canvas and every stitch like a brush stroke across it.

“When I was in elementary school I was in 4-H,” said Amanda Perry of Cynthiana.

Since those early days of learning to sew Amanda Perry has graduated to now being an artist of piecing fabric squares together to create a masterpiece.

At 42, she has created a number of quilts, but there is one that will always be her favorite.

“So this is the first quilt that I made, me and my grandmother, this happened to be her last,” said Perry.

Her creations are bright, colorful and often times meaningful. “It is so enjoyable, it’s so enjoyable that I don’t even want to let go of it after its finished,” said Perry.

But in the last two years, the sound of her sewing machine and the simple stitching of another quilt has been healing to Perry.

That sound brought her a sense of normalcy when her world was turned upside down.

“We measured it and it was right at 2 centimeters and she (her doctor) referred me to Baptist Health to a surgeon and after I went there everything went so fast,” said Perry.

n May of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, not even 40 yet Perry found a lump just five weeks after a mammogram.

She was diagnosed with stage 3 triple-negative metastatic breast cancer, one of the most aggressive types.

“It was scary, but I knew that I had a church family and God was on my side,” said Perry. With the support of her husband and family, her plan of attack was chemo, radiation, and a double mastectomy.

While bravely losing her long blonde hair, she began the fight for her life.

“I learned how to be strong when it is your only option,” said Perry.

Last December Amanda’s cancer returned in her liver and lymph nodes, but Perry is not giving up.

“Every day is a fight, every day is my breast cancer awareness month,” said Perry.

Her doctors say she is a miracle, but she wants other women to learn from her story.

“I tell everyone please you have to be your own advocate, you’ve got to listen to your body.” said Perry.

Her healing is tucked behind a sewing machine focused on what she knows which is staying positive.

“Even through the toughest days find something that brings you joy, said Perry.

And for her it’s taking a simple piece of fabric and sewing in just the right amount of love for someone else.

“Find something that brings other people joy,” said Perry.

Chemotherapy will always be a part of Amanda’s life, but for now she is maintaining her health.

One of the reasons Amanda wanted to share her story is to encourage other women to reach out to her, she has a Caring for Amanda Facebook page, and she invites those in their cancer journey to reach out to her.

Amanda says she would be happy to just talk, listen or answer questions.

You can also email Amanda at quiltingwithlove@yahoo.com