Local woman remaining strong despite cancer prognosis

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by Maggie Ruper

WHAS11.com

Posted on December 24, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 24 at 8:21 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – We are each given a lifetime. The gift is most often a mystery of what will be and when it will end, but 35-year-old Jill Conley knows her time is fleeting.

“I get really scared because I know this is how I’m going to die,” Conley said.

At 31 Jill got married and moved to Louisville from Las Vegas, but she had been living with a secret she could no longer keep.

“I had an inverted nipple, for I would say a year, and I totally ignored it,” Conley said.

“She showed me her breast and I said, ‘Oh my gosh you have to get to a doctor immediately,’” her mother-in-law, Betty Conley said.

Betty made the appointment and the day before Jill’s 32nd birthday doctors diagnosed her with stage four breast cancer.

“We did 16 rounds of chemo, 31 radiation treatments and 4 surgeries including a double mastectomy,” Conley said.

The grueling treatment appeared to work. Jill’s cancer went into remission, but it wouldn’t be long before pains in her chest brought her back. Some cancers cells survived and spread to her bone. There’s no cure.

“It is considered very treatable, but not curable with today’s standards and she knows this,” Dr. Janell Seeger, Norton Cancer Institute said.

With chemo and monthly shots to suppress her hormones, Jill is expected to live several more years.

Despite everything, Jill is still Jill, smiling and laughing. Her mindset and her courage are the focus of an upcoming documentary. She’s flown to photo shoots in Paris and New York.

She calls her doctors her angels and she calls her husband Bart her rock. He smiles even though he knows the love of his life may be granted just half a life.

“I wish she didn't have it, but I love every second that we've been married,” Bart Conley said.

Jill is determined to live her life to the fullest.

“Don’t stop fighting,” Conley said.
 

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