Each year, Johnstown Magazine highlights some of the brave individuals who faced a breast cancer diagnosis and plowed their way through.
Although Cherub Kycko did not have any symptoms of breast cancer, she was encouraged to have a mammogram at the age of 40.
“Even if you don’t feel a lump in your breast, I suggest still getting checked,” she says.
Cherub was persuaded to go ahead with the mammogram in a rather unique way.
The family dog, Arosa, a black lab mix rescued nine years earlier, started acting strangely around Cherub.
“She started jumping up on me when I sat down and would paw at my left breast,” Cherub says.
“I told my husband, ‘Either I’m sick or she is.’”
So Cherub took the advice of her doctor and had her first mammogram in March of 2020. It was followed by a biopsy and an MRI where micro calcifications were found clustered in her left breast.
Her gut feeling turned out to be correct and Cherub was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Since it was detected at an early stage, she did not have to have radiation or chemotherapy, but had a bilateral mastectomy in April of 2020.
After surgery, her lymphocyte test was low and she was told the cancer was gone. Cherub also had genetic testing and is pleased that she does not carry the BRCA gene mutation.
After going through her experience, Cherub was inspired to start a Facebook page – The Divine Secrets of the Ta Ta Sisterhood – as a way to connect with other women with and without breast cancer.
“I try to hold the women accountable for following up with appointments and inspire them throughout their mammogram process,” she says. “I didn’t think it was going to be a motivational thing, but it is. The women in this group encourage me.”
Cherub says she is able to connect with women of all ages and inspires a diverse audience.
Originally from Johnstown, Cherub and her husband, Scott, live in Dilltown with their 14-year-old daughter, 7-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.
The family takes care of many chickens, ducks and two dogs.
Cherub is a stay-at-home mother who enjoys cooking for her friends and selling Avon. She also works as a wine guide for The Traveling Vineyard.
Cherub strongly believes that it is important to take care of yourself and says early detection is essential.