• 66°

Stuckey thankful for time with family

Family, friends and faith are three words that come to mind when thinking about Kelli Stuckey, who has been battling cancer for about the past six months.

“I never thought about the possibility of having cancer myself, but it was nothing new to our family,” Stuckey said. “I helped take care of my stepfather while he was sick with the disease.”

According to statistics, an estimated 3,680 new cases of female breast cancer and approximately 680 breast cancer deaths were expected to occur in Alabama for the year 2015.

Although Alabama has a high rate of breast cancer of 119.7, it is significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 123.1.

But statistics fly right out the window when the doctor hands the patient the news that she does indeed have cancer.

Of all the up to date precautions, one simple thing that every female should do is to examine her own body and that is just what happened to Stuckey.

“I did my own examinations, and when I felt a lump, I wasted no time seeing a doctor,” she said. “I had recently watched my stepfather suffer and pass away from stomach cancer because he waited too late to treat it.

“After consulting a team of doctors, they did a lumpectomy and also removed some lymph nodes, just in case,” she added.

Stuckey began chemotherapy in May and has recently finished. She is now waiting to go through a series of radiation treatments at Sacred Heart.

“It’s not going to be easy,” she said. “I will have to go five days a week for seven weeks, but I am willing to do whatever it takes. I had to quit my teacher’s aid job at Pollard McCall, and I really miss that, and I did all I could to keep my hair from falling out. Nothing worked, so I finally decided to accept the changes and now I feel better about it.”

Stuckey has lived most of her life in Flomaton. She attended Pollard McCall School and graduated from Flomaton High School in 1997. She attended Jefferson Davis Community College for a while.

She went to visit her aunt in California and met Chris Stuckey. She brought him back to Flomaton and he is employed by Georgia Pacific here in Brewton. They have one daughter, Kaitlin, who is 16 and is a 10th grader at Flomaton.

Her family has been a big help to her since she began her journey through coping with cancer.

“Everyone has been supportive, and I try to stay positive,” she said. “I add my family at work and at church to that. My mother works at Pollard McCall as a teacher’s aid and the people up there pray for me every day. My church, Divine Temple, is also praying for me.”

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, and Stuckey has added another reason to be thankful.

“Life is short, but you can do lots more than you realize,” she said. “I appreciate every day and thank everyone for all the support they have given to me in person and on Facebook. I want to thank all my family, friends and co-workers for the loving help they have been. I am thankful.”