October, also known as Pinktober, is a month dedicated to increasing awareness and honoring those in the breast cancer community. This month is a time of reflection and a bright symbol of hope for the thousands of breast cancer survivors across the world.

This month, we are honoring our dedicated employee, Elizabeth, and her mom Kathey. While Elizabeth’s mom went through breast cancer treatment, Elizabeth was her caregiver. Elizabeth couldn’t do it alone. It takes an army to battle cancer and SpectrumAM was beside her along the way.

Elizabeth has been with SpectrumAM for many years and has been a vital part of the team. She is quick to learn, reliable, and friendly to all. Elizabeth’s mom, Kathey, was diagnosed in 2018 with breast cancer resulting in surgery and radiation.

How would you describe your relationship with your mom?

My mom and I have always had a close relationship! She’s warm-hearted and friendly and people who interact with her on a regular basis always note how generous she is.

What is your favorite quality about your mom and why?

While there are many qualities about my mom I admire, I think the fact that she’s so good to others is the quality I admire most. Her ability to endure hardship with kindness and grace has always made her unique.

What was it like finding out the news about the diagnosis?

With no history of breast cancer, the diagnosis was blindsiding to all of us. As a rock for our family, this added to the distress of finding out the news, but thankfully the cancer was treatable.

When it came to work, what was your biggest concern?

My biggest concern was making sure my mom had the physical and mental support she needed in order to beat her diagnosis – but I also knew all cancer treatments happen during the day, when I was at work.
Accommodation during a time of treatment for a loved one isn’t always possible. Spectrum’s leadership willingly supported me by making sure I was able to arrange my schedule around her treatments. This was incredibly helpful for my family.

What advice do you have for anyone who is walking through this journey with a loved one?

I would encourage everyone to do what they can to be there emotionally and physically for their loved one and practice a lot of self-compassion for the things you can’t do. There are many foundations and charities that exist to offer several types of support. Don’t forget to practice regular self-care while taking care of a loved one and encourage your loved one to do self-care as well.

Elizabeth’s mom has been cancer free for almost four years, which is an important milestone for cancer recurrence. It’s been a huge relief for both Elizabeth and her mom that post-cancer life has been relatively smooth. Battling cancer is a marathon, not a sprint, and Elizabeth and her mom are thankful for Spectrum’s commitment to ensuring all employees are able to participate in life’s most important moments and battles. This includes work/life balance, remote and flexible work schedules, as well as 40 hours a year of paid community service to support wonderful organizations such as the ones fighting to make our world cancer free.