Veda McKeithen, 60, is planning her wedding. “The proposal was totally unexpected. This is my second chance at love,” McKeithen fondly recalled. But only 10 months earlier, Veda was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer at Broward Health Medical Center’s Cancer Specialty Center. “I was always very fatigued and had recurring sinus infections,” McKeithen said. “One day I was taking a shower and I felt a distinct lump in my left breast. It just got bigger and bigger.”
Initially, McKeithen didn’t get the lump examined. It would take a move to Florida to take care of her 78-year-old mother that led McKeithen to Broward Health. After a biopsy showed the presence of cancer, she was referred to Broward Health hematologist and oncologist Jorge Hurtado-Cordovi, M.D.
“McKeithen has hormone receptor positive HER-2 breast cancer,” Hurtado-Cordovi said. “We developed personalized treatment geared for her type of cancer to achieve better results without compromising tolerability.”
McKeithen is grateful for the care she continues to receive from Hurtado-Cordovi and the cancer center’s multidisciplinary team. “I was really scared and I wanted someone who was going to patiently explain everything to me. When I met Dr. Hurtado-Cordovi, I knew I was in good hands.”
McKeithen underwent chemotherapy and surgery to remove her tumor. She completed her radiation treatment this past June. “I remained calm throughout the whole process. I didn’t freak out because I kept saying to myself ‘I am going to beat this’,” McKeithen said.
Today, McKeithen has some neuropathy in her feet and hands, and she still feels some fatigue. However, her hair is growing back and she returned to exercising at a gym. Looking forward to her future, McKeithen is excited about planning her upcoming wedding. She has already picked out the location and dress, and is planning to take her engagement pictures soon. “Cancer is a journey. I just had to have courage and keep going.”