Stacey’s journey started in 2017 after her move to Visalia, when
she went to see Dr. William Holvik, who agreed that the dimple on her
breast, along with two spots on her right breast, needed to be checked.
Her concerns of not being closer to the medical professionals she trusted
in the Bay Area were short-lived. She also quickly dismissed suggestions
to seek treatment in the Bay Area or Southern California.
“Once I started the process … I didn’t think about going
anywhere else,” Stacey said of Dr. Kyle Potts and Dr. Robert Havard.
“I had people who said why not go to Stanford or any of these other
big facilities. But I had trust in these doctors.”
A biopsy confirmed what Stacey feared: She had breast cancer. Stacey underwent
six rounds of chemotherapy. After that, with the support of her husband,
she made an unusual decision for a woman her age. She opted for a double
mastectomy and bypassed breast reconstruction. “He was much more
concerned about my health. That made it easier for me to make that decision,” she said.
Stacey and her husband, Gordon Grantham, moved to Visalia because of its
nice neighborhoods and quaint downtown, among other things. Little did
they know that it would be home to the medical personnel who helped Stacey
fight a life-threatening condition.
“For me, this has been a great decision,” said Stacey, whose
younger sister, Shelly Pownell, relocated from Reno to Visalia to provide
support. “I feel blessed to end up in a community where I got all
of the great care that I got.”
As a cancer survivor, Stacey says she has been granted a reset button on
life. Today, she spends as much time as possible with family and her two
dogs, Faith and Costina.
“Cancer has made me more appreciative of things,” she said.
“I think sometimes you have to have an icky walk in life to be able
to understand that.”