Last year, I shared with Kansans that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I also shared that I expected to make a full recovery. Following surgery and several radiation treatments, I am thrilled to share that I am now cancer free.
However, I must say I do not think I will ever fully recover from this experience. I think that is why they call them cancer survivors. Sharing the news I had cancer, was an experience in and of itself. Cancer is a difficult personal experience for everyone, and I was not completely comfortable with the idea of being the political gossip of the day. But I wanted something good to come from it.
While reluctant, I shared it anyway. Once I saw it made national news, I knew sharing my story was the right thing to do for breast cancer awareness. I hope it will serve as a reminder to everyone to schedule their yearly mammogram. Mine was lifesaving.
I would, once again, like to thank the University of Kansas Cancer Center for the world-class care I received. We are blessed to have such a wonderful facility here at home.
No one can accurately prepare you for a battle with cancer, though I was inspired by the stories people would share with me about their own battles. Kansans have long served as my extended family and during my battle they lived up to the kind, compassionate and supportive nature we are known for in the Midwest. I have never felt more loved. I have never been prouder to be a Kansan. And I have never been more thankful to have my husband, Mike, by my side.
This journey has taught me a lot about the fight it takes it takes to navigate a serious health situation, the compassion needed to guide people through it and the headaches insurance can sometimes add to an already difficult situation. Kansans have had my back, and I have a renewed fight for the work done at the Kansas Insurance Department.
Kansas Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt and her husband, Mike, grew up in Wichita and graduated from South High. They now live in Topeka.