“I’m sure I looked scared at my first oncology appointment,” Bonnell said. “A lady got out of her chair and came over and said, ‘Honey, it will be OK.’ She sat there and held my hand.”
The people around her have been supportive, Bonnell said. She recalls her youngest son in college waking up early in the morning to talk with her when she went to appointments in Indianapolis.
Bonnell recalls being afraid her grandchildren would be bothered by the loss of her hair.
“They love me even more with my scars,” Bonnell said. “They keep me going. I’m glad my family is so supportive.”
Bonnell’s daughter-in-law, Tammy, watched Bonnell go through treatment. Tammy said Bonnell was strong and didn’t ask for a lot of help. Tammy said it has been inspiring to see all Bonnell overcame.
Be supportive. That’s the best advice Tammy says she can give.
”Just be there for them and support in any way you can because you never know when that can be you,” Tammy said. “If it was you, you would want the same thing. You would want support.”
Coworkers have also been supportive, Bonnell said.
Bonnell, who worked through her entire diagnosis and treatment, said her coworkers have been understanding. She is a program technician at US Consolidated Farm Service Agency. Coworkers would even drive her to the hospital in Logansport if her fluids got low at work.
She continues to be raise awareness of breast cancer. In addition to wearing pink, she is involved with walks and dinner benefits raising support for breast cancer awareness.
“I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I went through,” Bonnell said. “Get a mammogram. It could save your life. It did mine.”
Additional advice Bonnell has to give others is to keep going.
“Fight for the rest of your life and never give up,” Bonnell said.
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or email@example.com. Follow her: @PharosAES.