Dublin mom selected for new treatment for rare type of cancer

Sarah Kearney poses with her kids on their way to go see The Nutcracker last December.
Fighting Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Treatment

DUBLIN, Ohio (10TV) -- During the month of October focus turns to beating cancer. Many commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, including the Kearney family in Dublin.

Mother of four Sarah Kearney said her breast cancer diagnosis began at home just before the holidays when a self test yielded what she thought was a lump.

"I thought, 'I'm going to get through the holidays then I'll take care of it.' Like many moms, I put taking care of myself off," said Kearney.

She kept a positive attitude and planned for a one-year detour in life to clear the cancer from her body and then she told her family things would be back to normal. But her plans were complicated with news from her doctor. The cancer in her body proved to be Triple Negative Breast Cancer, or TNBC. The rare sub-type of breast cancer tends to be more aggressive. After tests, doctors confirmed she also had cancer in her bones.

"I got the news, then I just kind of froze in time. I had to tell my husband, and he was like 'what did they say?' and I was like 'I don't even know'," said Kearney.

Metastatic cancer was a big blow to Sarah's spirit and it has meant tough questions from her family.

"The little ones will ask 'when are you going to be done with this cancer?' They'll ask 'why do you have so many doctor appointments?' I always have to tell them that mommy's doing everything I can do to get better so I can take better care of them. And I really am," said Kearney.

She is not cured, but she is seeing some recent positive news. As a TNBC patient she was selected to try an immunotherapy and chemotherapy combination. Anything that cause the cancer cells to at least stop growing is welcome news for the Kearney family.

"I had scans in June and I had scans again in September and everything appears to be stable so that's encouraging. It is not going down, but it is at least not growing," explained Kearney.

She visits The James Comprehensive Cancer Center every week and reads about the breast cancer survivorship that is up. Kearney said she is appreciative of the many local people working to donate and the push for more cancer research. It is not lost on her during medical visits how many people travel from across the country for the technology in central Ohio.

"You look around and realize a lot of these people have come very far for treatment," said Kearney. "We are so fortunate to have that so close."

Today she recognizes the beauty in little moments with her family. Kearney said she tells others to embrace the little tasks and moments of daily life, like running children to practices or doing dishes together. Within those moments are opportunities for meaningful memories.

"Cancer has taken so much, from my hair to the many things I used to do. I'm working to take little things back when I can," said Kearney. "Enjoy the busy and enjoy those moments when you can stop and look around and be thankful for a new day and the gifts that it has."