Cancer Wont Slow Julie Bates Down

By KBJR Manager

September 3, 2010 Updated Sep 3, 2010 at 1:17 PM CDT

Hundreds of thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year but still many think it will never happen to them.

In this week's Northland's Very Own Laura Langemo introduces us to one Duluth woman who felt the same way until her life was turned upside down from one simple phone call.

For Julie Bates, life was just how she wanted it.

She was a stay at home mom with two great kids and had a husband she adored. But then the unexpected happened.

"It was disbelief. You hear this all the time that it's something that you think would happen to other people but not to yourself."

Julie was 41 years old when she discovered that she had breast cancer.

Immediately she began treatment.

Julie underwent a lumpectomy, eight rounds of chemotherapy, and 28 sessions of radiation at St. Luke's Breast Center.

"For cancer treatment they say cut, burn, and poison so I did all three of them."

As the years and months passed by, Julie celebrated the milestones she was making in her remission.

But five years after undergoing treatment, she found another lump.

"It really didn't sink in that it could be cancer again. I kind of knew it but I thought this can't be... it's like lightning striking twice."

Julie was again diagnosed with cancer, but it wasn't a reoccurrence. It was a second primary cancer.

This time Julie opted for more aggressive treatment which included a double mastectomy and extensive chemo-therapy.

"It was scary. You go through all of the stages of anger, sadness, grief, disbelief, and also let's get down to business and get this taken care of."

In order to cope with this potential life-threatening illness, Julie decided to organize a local affiliate of the Young Survival Coalition.

This organization serves as a support system for young woman diagnosed with breast cancer across the Northland which became a real life-line for Julie after being diagnosed with cancer a second time.

"I was giving them my support and then when I was diagnosed again it all came full circle and I had women who were just barely out of chemo themselves bringing me meals while I was going through chemo and the surgeries."

Julie is still undergoing treatment but she continues to enjoy very moment life has to bring.

In Duluth, Laura Langemo the Northland's NewsCenter.

On Sunday, September 19th Julie will participate in St. Luke's Walk a Mile for Breast Cancer as part of the Grandma's Marathon Minnesota Mile event.

For more information on this event you can log onto our website at northlands newscenter dot com.