Sara Goodburn Celebrates Her 1-Year Breast Cancer Survivorship Today

In December of 2019, Sara Goodburn was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sara and her son, Kyle at the LIV Super Bowl | Goodburn Family during Komen’s virtual More Than Pink Walk

Sara Goodburn, a full-time mom and community volunteer, first noticed a lump in her breast while lying down on the couch. “I just had my hands kind of crossed on top of me, and I felt a lump, and I went, ‘I wonder what that is.’”

From there, everything moved fast for Sara. She called her doctor Tuesday morning and made an appointment for Wednesday. By Friday, she was notified she had breast cancer.

Thankfully, doctors told Sara her cancer was very treatable, in part because of her efforts to monitor her health consistently. Sara had a mammogram in September of the year prior, meaning her cancer had started and developed rapidly since then. “Make sure to get those mammograms and do it in a timely fashion- within a year- because things can happen in just that years’ time.”

From there, Sara began her treatment with the University of Kansas Cancer Center. “I know that KU [The University of Kansas] is a really good place to go, so I just trusted that I would like all the doctors.” After undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, Sara finished her treatment in mid-June- right amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Sara, protocols seemed to change every appointment. Masks were introduced, then temperature checks, and finally- the number of visitors became reduced, meaning Sara had to go through treatment alone.

“I felt safe because there was nobody in the waiting rooms anymore; there was no wait time; there was hardly anybody in there. It was sad because no one was coming in for their screenings, treatments, anything.”

Sara is speaking to an area of major concern- we will see higher breast cancer-related deaths due to people not receiving treatment in the COVID era. Cancer diagnosis is down by 50%, not because cancer rates are decreasing, but because people don’t even know they have it.

For an active, healthy woman like Sara, that statistic is terrifying. “I never for a minute, felt I was sick. I never had any symptoms of it- nothing other than this lump.” 

 

What does Sara advise?
  1. “Don’t put off the mammograms – that would be a big one.” 
    1. Women 40 years or above should begin scheduling mammograms annually to ensure that breast cancer does not go undetected. 
  2. “Know your own body. I found it and knew that it wasn’t right, so I immediately called.” 
    1. Self-checks and staying on top of your own health is a great way to look after yourself. Click here to see what you should be on the lookout for.
  3. “Have a good support system.”
    1. While Sara found much of her support through friends and family, she notes how important it is to find something that empowers you. Hospitals provide ample resources- ranging from nutritionists to mental health experts- to ensure that you are getting the care you need.

 

Be like Sara. Take the time to prioritize your health, even amidst chaos. 

“You just have to be strong…Do what you need to do to get healthy again.”

 

Sara Goodburn is a full-time mother and community volunteer. Sara is an elected member of the Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education, now serving her ninth year. She frequently volunteers with the Ronald McDonald House and Alpha Delta Pi. Sara also works part-time at Pear Tree Design & Antiques in Kansas City.