Janice Cooper

Janice-Cooper-Aultman-Cancer-CenterOn March 17, 2016, Janice Cooper was diagnosed with de novo stage 4 invasive lobular carcinoma of the breast with metastases to numerous bones including her hips, spine, sternum and femurs. “De novo” means that her cancer was already stage 4 when she was diagnosed.

Not being a candidate for surgery due to the metastases, Janice takes oral medications, one being a targeted therapy for her particular type of cancer. She sees her oncologist monthly and has bloodwork at least two times a month. Janice also receives a bone strengthener in the Aultman Infusion Center every 90 days.

Janice has been an employee of Aultman for more than 30 years which gave her a different perspective when she became a patient at the Aultman Cancer Center.

“Now, I am on the receiving end of care instead of being part of the great Aultman team that provides care to our community. I have to say that I am not only proud to be an employee of Aultman Hospital, but I am a grateful patient as well. The care I receive continues to save my life. There is no ‘cure’ for cancer, but I am finding you can live with cancer,” Janice said.  

“My physician, Dr. Trehan, is a blessing to this community. When the exam room door closes and she looks me in the eyes, I know her total focus is on me. I feel as if I am her only patient. I am her greatest concern. I am who she is fighting for. I am receiving cutting edge treatment. I am not alone.” 

When asked what advice she would give to someone who is diagnosed with cancer, Janice said, “Do not give up. Do not try to control things that are out of your control. That is wasted energy.” She shared a favorite quote from Corrie Ten Boom: “Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

Today, Janice feels her greatest strength is not giving up hope and fighting to lead by example of what you can accomplish, even with a stage 4 diagnosis.

When asked what her greatest hope is, Janice answered, “Well, this might sound morbid, but we are all actively dying from the day we are born. Some just get there faster than others. I had the fortune of being smacked in the face with my own mortality when I was diagnosed. I hope to make my family proud that I am fighting for me and for them. I hope to beat the odds. I hope we find a cure.”

Finally, Janice shared this message: “Nobody knows what is in store for them here on earth. My Christian faith has sustained me through this entire journey. What is God’s plan for me? Only He knows. Am I scared? You better believe it! Do I want to beat cancer? You better believe it! Am I getting the best care possible? You better believe it! I know I have more to accomplish.”

She continued, “My care at Aultman and The Timken Family Cancer Center will help me continue to live my life for my family and to continue my journey on this earth. The gift that this community is being given is unbelievable. The generosity of everyone who has donated to help this vision become a reality does not go unnoticed. As a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a cancer fighter – I thank you.”

To learn more about how you can get involved and make a difference for cancer survivors in our community, please visit the Timken Family Cancer Center's page.