Meet Nancy Eavy
Oncology nurse embraces the journey and brings HOPE to others.
Sometimes unexpected events come in threes. Nancy Eavy had just landed her dream job and discovered she was expecting her first child when she faced the daunting possibility of breast cancer. The results of a routine mammogram were inconclusive, and even a biopsy didn’t provide a solid answer due to her fluctuating hormones.
As Nancy worked with doctors to monitor her situation, she enjoyed her pregnancy. Nine months later, beautiful, healthy baby Chloe was born. Soon after this joyful occasion came more mammograms and biopsies. When Nancy’s doctor called with the results, she was all too familiar with the “pause” on the other end of the phone. As part of a health care team delivering cancer diagnoses to patients, she heard these conversations many times, but now it was her turn to receive the dreaded call.
Taking it in stride, Nancy had a plan – she would have a lumpectomy with clear margins and then enjoy the holidays with her new baby girl. However, sometimes the best-laid plans don’t come to fruition. Following the procedure, her doctor revealed the lumpectomy produced unclear margins and that her other breast contained atypical cells. Nancy’s nightmare was far from over.
After hearing the news, Nancy headed to the local bookstore to clear her head. She bought a pink journal and wrote on the first page, “Today I choose to embrace my journey and open doors with people I haven’t had the chance to meet.”
We think so much is out of our control – actually, so much is in our control. The silver lining is that cancer brings clarity. Things that matter become apparent, and it becomes clear what isn’t important.
Using the letters found in the word hope, she shares her advice with others:
H-ang on. The cancer journey has many twists and turns.
O-pinions. Ask and keep asking until all your questions answered. Get multiple medical opinions.
P-rioritize what matters to you.
E-mbrace the journey. A positive attitude can make a huge difference!
Reveling in the giant strides made by research since her diagnosis and recovery, Nancy shares, “We know much more than we did when I was a patient, but there’s still so much we don’t know. Research plays a pivotal role and we must continue funding.”
Years after her own cancer experience, Nancy found herself at her husband’s bedside, advocating for the best care as he defeated prostate cancer. “We have shared so much as a couple, and cancer is one of those things you don’t plan for,” said Nancy. “Now we proudly say we are both survivors and thriving. It’s our time to give back and help others in their fight.”
Today, Nancy is the proud mom of two beautiful girls, Chloe and Anna. The family is committed to giving back and advocates for cancer research by leading philanthropic events and even hosting lemonade stands to raise money for research. As she continues to define her journey, Nancy is gearing up for a new challenge. In the fall, she’ll join more than 230 coworkers from Bristol Myers Squibb in Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer (C2C4C), an epic three-week expedition – cycling across America to raise funds for the V Foundation. Intense training with her peers will prepare her to ride up to 80 miles per day, over three days, from Denver to Missouri.
A stationary bike was all Nancy knew before she began training for C2C4C, but she gains confidence and endurance with each ride, all while encouraging her peers. When facing a rugged hill, she visualizes the cancer patients’ milestones, like living for the next birthday, holiday or family event. Seeing that joy helps her get through the flat tires and bumps in the road, just like she did in defeating cancer.