Nancy Thurston

When Nancy was first diagnosed at 41 with two small children ages three and five, she called upon her inner strength that she had learned from her parents, church, athletics, and friends. Never give up, was her rallying cry. Even though she was scared, she looked to her children and said to herself, I want to see my children grow up.

As a survivor and a licensed clinical social worker, Nancy understands the importance of needing someone to talk to during a breast cancer journey and has become a source of support for many going through treatment. She runs a weekly cancer support group in her office that is free and open to anyone who has cancer or is a survivor. And when any of her friends or church people are diagnosed, or know someone who is diagnosed, they ask her to speak with them. If needed, she will go along every step of the way—she has taken patients to appointments and visited several people in the chemotherapy treatment room, or just accompanied them on a walk.

She has learned that being there for someone is the best thing you can do and to take it one step at a time.

“I am most thankful for the support of my wonderful husband Tim, who stood by me all the way, and my children, Nicholas and Michelle, who were there for me and reminded me to live in the moment and notice and take joy in everyday things like they do.”

Nancy says, “It takes a village” is a good representation for undergoing cancer and treatment journey. Her sister from Iowa, Barcey, who is a physician came from Iowa for her first meeting with her oncologist. She was a rational third pair of ears for her and her husband. Nancy’s tennis team took turns bringing her family dinner on chemo week, and her church supported her through prayers.

Her husband Tim was always there for her and picked up household chores and child caretaking. Nancy credits her children for bringing joy and mindfulness to her experience. Her children were very careful when they got in her lap and asked, “Mommy is this your good side?”


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