Milligan said she went ahead with the surgery to remove the tumor, which has not reappeared. Three months later, she started chemotherapy in hopes of treating the cancer.
She had chemotherapy once a week for three weeks, with a week off before the next round began. She has completed five rounds of chemotherapy altogether and began a new regimen of chemo drugs in June.
Last week, she started radiation therapy. She has completed six treatments so far and has 27 left.
Milligan said the first several rounds of chemo left her feeling nauseous, as if she had the flu. She also lost her hair and could not work anymore.
“All of a sudden, I couldn’t work because I couldn’t drive,” she said. “I went from being in the swing of things , on the move all the time, to being at home.”
Milligan said it’s too early to tell whether the combination of chemotherapy and radiation is working, but she believes she will beat the disease.
Sadie Milligan said her mother was depressed when she first learned she had cancer, but she feels much better now.
“Her older brother — he’s a year older than her — he passed away in October from lung cancer,” Sadie said. “He lived in Guthrie, so she was always there taking care of him. And he passed away in October, and then a couple of months later, she’s diagnosed with the same thing he had.
“And so in the beginning, she didn’t have a good outlook on it. Now, her spirits are raised a lot more.”
Milligan described herself as a fighter who relies on the support of her friends and family to help her cope with her disease. She tries to stick to her normal routine of getting dressed each morning and putting on her makeup, as if she were going to work.