Cindy Wagner BCA

Breast cancer survivor Cindy Wagner (left), of Robinson, Pa., shares a moment with Missy Felton, her nurse navigator at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.

Cindy Wagner felt an itch on her breast.

So, naturally, she scratched.

And that routine action changed her life. Wagner felt a lump, which she sensed was breast cancer.

“I knew right then and there,” Wagner said. “I just knew it.”

Her reaction was immediate: “My heart sunk to my stomach, if you want the truth. I just had a feeling. You just have a feeling.”

Tests soon verified her self-diagnosis, which started the Robinson resident on a series of medical treatments in July 2017.

“I never thought I would have to deal with this ever in my life,” Wagner, now 51, said. “I was shocked. It’s three words – ‘you have cancer’ – that you never think you’re going to hear those words.”

Wagner was fortunate to notice the lump on her own, since her type of cancer – lobular – does not show up on mammograms.

“I feel all women should do self-breast exams, because if I wouldn’t have had that itch, I would have never had known I had it,” Wagner said.

During the treatment process, she received support from many well-wishers, including her daughter, Cayla Short, and her former co-workers at Laurel Auto Group.

“They were all very nice,” Wagner said.

Wagner, who is currently cancer-free, said the experience taught her to stop “stressing about things because you can’t change what’s going to happen.”

“It made me realize that life’s too short, and you have to live for the day and try to make the most of everything even when you have bad days,” Wagner said.

She has also received a second chance to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

“I like being outside,” Wagner said. “I like listening to the birds. I know these things probably sound weird.

“I like talking to people, meeting new people.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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