The roots Sandy Kaecher has built in Paulding run deep.
When she moved to Dallas, Georgia over a decade ago, Sandy wanted to make a real difference in her adopted hometown. From countless hours of volunteering to serving on the county commission, she has been a pillar in the community from the beginning.
In 2014, she even attended Wellstar Paulding Hospital’s groundbreaking ceremony, eager for the area to have easy access to world-class healthcare. However, she never expected to battle breast cancer at the same facility years later.
During her fight, Sandy partnered with an entire team of cancer experts, right here in her beloved community. She also found comfort and strength in a new bond with Wellstar Nurse Navigator Kellie Mitchell, who was by Sandy’s side through her toughest moments.
Every step of her cancer journey, Sandy got unending support from Wellstar — and even a true, lasting friendship, too.
Catching cancer early
In 2018, while Sandy was gearing up to run in the local election as the first female Paulding County Commissioner, she wasn’t aware that her body was already fighting a battle of its own.
Sandy noticed dimpling on one of her breasts, and knew something wasn’t right.
The distinctive dimpling that Sandy experienced is one warning sign women can watch for between their annual mammograms. During a breast self-exam, women can use their eyes and hands to inspect their breasts for new or concerning changes.
Abnormalities may include a new lump, swelling or thickening of the tissue, red or flaky skin, pulling in or pain in the nipple area and change in size or shape of the breasts.
Breast self-exams are an important way women can stay in tune with their bodies. However, at-home checks are not a substitute for getting a mammogram done by an imaging expert. These screenings are crucial to catch what the naked eye can’t see and detect health issues, such as breast cancer, in its early stages.
That’s why Sandy brought her concerns to her primary care physician right away.
It wasn’t long before she was connected with the cancer team at Wellstar Paulding Hospital. There, she received a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound to discover what was the underlying cause of the dimpling.
The results were clear: Sandy was dealing with a complex case of breast cancer. Based on the high-tech images, the cancer had woven in and out of the breast tissue, making it more complicated to treat.
With her expert Wellstar cancer team ready to battle beside her, Sandy summoned her fiery spirit and prepared for the fight.