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Best Friends Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the Same Time

Best Friends Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the Same Time

By Meghan Matthews. CREATED Oct 4, 2012

It's this time of year that gets tough for Karen Matthews.

"Breast cancer wasn't on our radar."

Best friends since the 7th grade, Karen and Cathy had many adventures together, even being diagnosed with breast cancer.

"In the beginning we kind of chuckled about it because we thought, ok we've been through life together so we're gonna go through this together, and you know you could laugh about that after 43 years of friendship, but then the paths really diverged."

When Karen went in for her yearly mammogram seven years ago, she was stunned to receive the stage zero breast cancer diagnosis.
"Surprised, because it was so ironic that my best friend and I would be diagnosed at the same time."

But her best friend Cathy had been diagnosed at stage four. The cancer was advanced and very aggressive.

"For two women who had the same medical team, and a wonderful medical team, but our outcomes were going to be extraordinarily different."

For Cathy, 9 months of chemo-therapy, surgeries and radiation. Karen was with her every step of the way as she watched her best friend suffer through it all.

"It was, difficult, because I had such an easy journey through this adventure, and her journey was just very difficult."

14 months after being diagnosed, Karen lost her best friend to breast cancer.

"It's why I'm involved with Susan G. Komen."

Six years later, Karen is cancer free and a devoted advocate for Susan G. Komen.

"I felt so lucky, that mine had been diagnosed so early, and really understood the importance of early detection at that point."