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'I never expected to live this long:' Midlands woman shares her battle with breast cancer

Janet Sheppard Kelleher has lived with metastatic breast cancer for more than 5 years.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina — When you see Janet Sheppard Kelleher, you're looking at a miracle. Diagnosed with breast cancer more than 20 years ago her life has been an incredible journey from diagnosis to treatment to sharing her story on a number of different platforms.

Kelleher was only 48 years old when she was diagnosed the first time with breast cancer more than two decades ago. Doctors operated on the lump that was found in her breast and she received several rounds of chemotherapy.  It appeared all was well, until 6 years ago when she received the diagnosis again.  As if finding cancer in the same breast nearly 15 years later wasn't devastating enough, doctors realized the pain Kelleher was feeling in her hit was because the cancer had metastasized.  

Through it all Kelleher continued to remain strong, gaining encouragement from her family, friends and her faith.  When her children realized that Kelleher's cancer had spread they put a plan into action to make sure that their Mom would not pass without meeting her grandchildren.  Kelleher has 3 grandsons and 66 months later she is doing well and credits the drug Ibrance.

She's shared her story on a number of different platforms, as the author of two books, "Big C Little Tatas" and a new memoir entitled "But What If I Can", you can also find her writings in "Chicken Soup for the Soul". Kelleher has also modeled in the Lexington Medical Center's Women's Night Out Event.

Early detection is the key to battling breast cancer.  Healthcare experts encourage you to speak with your doctor about the right time to begin your annual mammogram.

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