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Strong and hopeful

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Molohon-Medley explains importance of support, attitude

By Trey Crumbie

Sasha Molohon-Medley has breast cancer, but she refuses to let it bring her down, owing it to her support group.

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The Bardstown woman said she noticed a lump on her chest about the middle of July. She went to a doctor in early August, and was diagnosed later that month.

“You start putting things into perspective,” she said. “You start realizing what’s important and what’s not. And you just got to get your game face on and get ready to fight and so that’s what I’m doing.”

In September, she had a bilateral mastectomy, a procedure where both breasts are removed. Molohon-Medley said the procedure could be psychologically damaging for a woman.

“It takes a lot from a woman,” she said. “But I will get them back at some point when all the hard parts (are) over.”

After the surgery, signs of the cancer were found in Molohon-Medley’s lymph nodes, making it at least a stage 2 diagnosis.

Molohon-Medley said before she received definitive answers from her doctors, there were a lot of scary and “what-if” scenarios about her future.

“The fear of the unknown is unbearable, it really is,” she said.

Molohon-Medley said her upcoming chemotherapy treatments would be hard and she is mentally preparing herself for the future.

“It’s a slow progress, but I’ll get there,” she said.

But she refuses to adopt a negative outlook.

“If you want a positive outcome, you’re going to have a positive attitude because if you let it beat you, it’s going to,” Molohon-Medley said. “If you stay negative, it’s going to beat you every time.”

Molohon-Medley said her family, co-workers and friends have supported her on days when she feels depressed.

Molohon-Medley works at Bardstown Healthcare and Rehabilitation as a certified nurse’s aid. On Sept. 23, friends of Molohon-Medley sold lunches, pink shirts and wristbands to help pay for her future medical treatment at the facility. Molohon-Medley said she felt the support was incredible and she felt extremely loved.

“I never, ever expected all of the support that I’ve gotten,” she said.

On Oct. 22, there will be a benefit for Molohon-Medley at American Legion Post 288 in Bloomfield starting at 7 p.m. and running until midnight.

Mary Gribbins, a coworker of Molohon-Medley who is involved in the benefit, said she is a great person and wonderful mother.

“We just rally behind our people at work,” she said. “We’re just like a big family.”

Molohon-Medley said Elaine Filiatreau, Nelson County Clerk, was also a prominent individual in her support group. Filiatreau met Molohon-Medley recently as she cared for her husband at Bardstown Healthcare and Rehabilitation.

“I do think a lot of her,” Filiatreau said, adding that she supported previous fundraising efforts at Bardstown Healthcare and Rehabilitation for Molohon-Medley.

Molohon-Medley said others have helped out as well. For example, Molohon-Medley’s daughter has been taken to and from basketball practice and games by moms of basketball players.

Calvin Molohon, Sasha’s father, has taken his daughter to various doctor visits and has helped take his grandkids to school. Molohon said his daughter’s support group was “overwhelming.”

“She hadn’t been working here that long,” he said.

Molohon said her daughter’s diagnosis was hard to deal with.

“It just came out of nowhere,” he said.

Molohon-Medley recently cut off at least 15 inches of her hair to prepare for the likely chance that she will go bald from her chemotherapy.

“That’s one thing I did have control over is how fast my hair is going to go,” she said.

She also dyed a portion of her hair pink for a time.

Molohon-Medley said her cancer is “the card she has been dealt” and doesn’t have time to feel sorry for herself and encourages others to do the same.

“For anyone who is diagnosed, the cancer doesn’t define you. It doesn’t change who you are. It just makes you realize how strong you’re going to have to be and there are going to be some changes, but it is all a temporary situation,” she said.