Courtesy of Nancy Sachtleben
Nancy Sachtleben battles ovarian cancer for the third time
History teacher Nancy Sachtleben’s life forever changed Aug. 6, 2009 when she was diagnosed for the first time with the silent killer, ovarian cancer.
“It was shock and disbelief for a few months because I did not expect it and it came out of nowhere. It didn’t seem like it was real,” Sachtleben said.
A ruptured cyst was the cause of Sachtleben’s first round of cancer.
“I had fluid in my body for about a week because I was out of town before I could get back in town. [My doctor] said we were going to do a double chemo,” Sachtleben said. “He saw it as being a little more serious than already what was serious which was a stage IIIC ovarian cancer.”
Sachtleben was diagnosed a second time with ovarian cancer in Nov. 2010 after her doctor found cancerous lymph nodes.
“It wasn’t as bad as the first time. It was in my lymph system, my lymph nodes, so I went ahead and did another [chemo] treatment,” Sachtleben said. “I did not want cancer to control my life.”
After beating cancer twice, Sachtleben was cancer free June 1, 2016.
“The goal has always been to keep it from coming back as long as possible, so if it did come back, at least I had a long break and my body could handle the chemo again. So that’s the good thing about it being over five years,” Sachtleben said. “The bad thing is that it did come back, and it is rare that it came back where it did for me.”
Doctors discovered cancer under Sachtleben’s arm this year. She started her first round of chemo Feb. 2.
“I guess I got a little too confident in the fact that I had gone five years since my previous chemo,” Sachtleben said. “It came back in a lymph node under my arm and once again, it shocks me, but it doesn’t. We beat it twice before so we can certainly do it again, so that’s the attitude.”
Sachtleben plans to have chemo on Thursdays every three weeks.
“I always put my chemo on a Thursday because I start feeling worse Friday evening and my worst days are usually Saturday/Sunday, and that’s how I’ve planned it so I can be at home and then be ready for school Monday,” Sachtleben said.
Sachtleben’s husband plays a big role in providing motivation for her through her battle against cancer.
“He is my everything, and I’m his everything. I couldn’t imagine not having a life with him. We definitely spend quality time together, and that’s what life’s all about,” Sachtleben said.
Sachtleben cherishes every moment despite living with cancer.
“Something I have always believed in and that is simply, you never judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes,” Sachtleben said. “Everybody should just treat everybody as if they might not ever see them again.”
Social Studies teacher Annie Wayland organized a Care Package team with faculty on Feb. 7 for Sachtleben to provide her with items that she will need during her chemo.
“We wanted her to know we are thinking of her all the time and always here for her,” Wayland said.
Wayland is still accepting donated items from anyone in the West community who wants to help out.
“We have gotten her a Vera Bradley large tote, blanket, scarf, pill case and a mini bag all for her chemotherapy visits. We have given her a Visa Gift Card, a spa gift card, stuff for dinner, movie and gas,” Wayland said. “We have lots more coming but wanted to spread things out so she was getting constant support rather than a flood at once and then nothing after.”