PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Next month is breast cancer awareness month. The cancer is so common, there's a good possibility you know someone battling it. Now, one woman shares her fight with breast cancer and the key to getting through it.
Kim Sykes has come a long way in the past four years. In July of 2013, the production control manager at Ingalls was forced to take on another task; fighting cancer.
"My daughter and I were playing on the floor, and she kind of did the Superman at me, and I went to draw back to keep from being bold over, and I felt a lump," said Sykes.
Just a few days later, doctors delivered the devastating news.
"I have three kids, and it was just a scary experience to be 41 years old and be facing that. My youngest daughter is 10 now, and she kept asking me if I was going to die, and kept telling her nope, I got it," Sykes recalled.
Testing on a tumor she had removed showed Sykes had hormone driven, stage I b breast cancer. She was told there was a high chance the tumor could return. Immediately Sykes began treatment, starting with chemo and then radiation.
"The body aches were probably the worst thing of all. It's like the flu times a million. Just like your entire body feels like it's gonna give out on you. I was curled up on the living room floor because my legs hurt so bad," said Sykes.
Words of wisdom from another cancer patient gave her the momentum to keep on.
"My husband's boss, he got on the phone and said, 'This is a battle, this is a fight, and you gotta go into it like that,'" Sykes said.
Through the early part of her treatment, Sykes kept working.
"I just wanted to just keep living a normal lifestyle and nothing change. I work with an awesome team, and they supported me 100 percent, and I work for a great organization, and they stood behind me the whole time," said Sykes.
In March of 2014, she was given the all clear. Her advice today? Whether you think you have it or not, get tested.
"If you find out you have to take any chemo, there's a website called What Next, and you can go there, and it's people from all over going through what you're going through, and you can get advice," said Sykes.