Samantha Smith's Cancer Journey
- Samantha Smith of Supernatural was diagnosed with breast cancer in early July
- Once revealing her diagnosis, she revealed she plans to undergo a double mastectomy for treatment
- She’s been sharing photos on social media of her cancer journey — including her radiation treatment, pre-op appointments, and planning for surgery
Smith, 50, announced via Instagram in early July that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time. She discovered lumps in her breast during a self exam, and shared that she plans to undergo a double mastectomy for treatment. Since, she’s been letting fans go on this journey with her by describing all the steps she’s going through prior to surgery.Read More
According to Smith, the first part of her treatment involved radiation treatment. Because the first part of her treatment included radiation, it put her at high risk for complications after surgery. So, she needed to spend time in a hyperbaric chamber before and after the procedure. She’s able to make light of the situation, saying the chamber is her own personal submarine, and also says those who are at high risk during surgery should look into seeing if their insurance covers the chamber.
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Submarine or spaceship? 🚀 Actually, it’s kinda both! Update: Because my treatment the first time around included radiation, I’m at a higher risk for healing complications from surgery. So I’m hanging out in a hyperbaric chamber every day both before & after my surgeries (there will be a few). If you are in my situation or having any medical issue involving delayed healing, look into it! If you have health insurance they may very well cover it. Be well and see you when I land! 🙏🏼
After radiation, Smith went through pre-op checkups. Once everything checked out, she shared a photo of her in bed enjoying a bowl of soup after her “qualifying round” surgery which was successful. The first surgery was to prepare her for the “main event” planned for the following week. The day before her main surgery, Smith showed fans what she was packing for her overnight hospital stay — which included pajamas and a robe. According to Smith, the main takeaway she got from her second cancer journey was the importance of advocating for yourself and always asking questions.
“Doing my research, being prepared and staying positive has helped me feel less afraid. Also, asking *one million* questions. Be your own advocate and empower your own journey with information! I promise it helps,” Smith wrote.
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Packing for “the big show.” 🥊 Lotsa pink on board, including jammies with buttons (nothing that goes over the head!) from my girl @swsperber65 and a robe I obtained in Tokyo circa 1993 (#DoesThatMakeItVintage? 😆). Doing my research, being prepared and staying positive has helped me feel less afraid. Also, asking *one million* questions. Be your own advocate and empower your own journey with information! I promise it helps. Ok, here goes… See you on the flip! 💗💗
Her surgery appears to have gone great, and she’s resting comfortably. Plus, she received a sweet bouquet of flowers from her Supernatural cast mates wishing her a speedy recovery, which lifted up her spirits tremendously.
Cancer Survivors Advocating For Themselves & Others
Going through cancer treatment is no easy task, but after overcoming the disease, many survivors get involved in activism and awareness in order to help others. This was the case for Baltimore-native Shellie Davis, who kept her questions and feelings about her ovarian cancer diagnosis to herself in order to not make her family even more scared.
However, Shellie did have tons of questions about the disease and treatment steps, and after she went through treatment, she wanted to help others who have been newly diagnosed. So, she joined the Woman to Woman (W2W) peer support program through Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. The program pairs women who are living with gynecologic cancers with trained volunteer mentors, like Davis, who have been through gynecologic cancers themselves. Through the program, Shellie and other survivors helps advocate and empower women who are understandably scared, and through the program’s mentorship they help them get through it.
“The word cancer is scary. It does not mean you won’t make it. When you go to a place where you’re feeling bad and you’re sad, you can visit it, but do not live there. You have to pick yourself back up,” says Shellie.