Sharing a breast cancer journey through song - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sharing a breast cancer journey through song

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SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

A Spokane Valley woman is trying to send an important message. Listen to your body if you feel like something is off.

She's a breast cancer survivor and shared her story through song Thursday night at an event called 'Mammo Night' for breast cancer awareness month.

Valerie Stichweh is a beautiful singer and she's been sharing her talent since she was a little girl. With every song, comes a story. "I found a lump. It just felt unusual. Had all the tests done and I just lit up the screen with cancer," said Stichweh.

At 39-years-old, Stichweh got stage three breast cancer. It was unusual because normally any woman would get a mammogram at the age of 40. "I had a five centimeter tumor," she said.

She went through a year and two months of chemo inside the Multicare Rockwood Breast Health Center. 33 treatments of radiation, "I had a double mastectomy and 13 lymph nodes removed. It was heartbreaking. I had (at the time) a 9-year-old-daughter, my husband, parents, and I wasn't sure if I was going to be here," she said.

Through that time, she was really sick and it was hard to sing but she had a support system backing her up. "When breast cancer is diagnosed early, it's survivable, it's very treatable," said Heidi Richardson, Stichweh's breast surgeon.

Stichweh's now been two years breast cancer free. "It's amazing because I always knew life was a gift," she said.

She gets to be here with her husband and her daughter, living life to the fullest. "If you feel like something is off in any way, even if it's small, get it checked out because it could save your life," said Stichweh. Because, it saved hers.

The song Stichweh shared about her journey through breast cancer at Thursday night's event is called, 'Rainbow After the Storm.' You can find it and listen to it on iTunes. 

Rockwood providers will having another Mammo night coming up on Monday at their main clinic located on 400 East 5th Avenue. You can call their clinic to schedule a mammogram at (509) 755-5801.  

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