Being a mother, working a full-time job and battling cancer. These three descriptions shouldn’t be together, but this is exactly what Tiffiney Hammock faced in April 2012.
Breast cancer was the diagnosis, and the first hurdle Hammock faced was a lumpectomy.
From the moment she realized she had cancer, Hammock feared the idea of a mastectomy. After several surgeries attempting to remove the cancer, her doctor said her only chance for survival would be to remove her breast. Hammock’s first instinct was to refuse, but her husband, Samuel Hammock, encouraged her to fight.
With her family supporting her, Hammock faced the mastectomy she dreaded, only to find out she would face chemotherapy as her second hurdle in August.
“I sat in the parking lot for an hour trying to work up the courage to go in,” said Hammock about her first chemo treatment. But as she sat in the waiting room with tears streaming down her face, a fellow fighter came to her rescue. A man who was further along in his treatment came across the room to sit with her and hold her hand. He told her he had been right where she was and that he would come and hold her hand for every treatment if that’s what she needed him to do.
Throughout her visits to the doctor, Hammock said she kept hearing about this woman named Sherry who had also fought cancer. At the time, Hammock said, “I just wasn’t ready to hear a story about a woman who had died. I just didn’t know why everyone wanted me to know about this Sherry lady.”
She would continue with the chemo treatment every three weeks, and though it made her sick, she kept a positive outlook.
“If I believe it...I will receive it,” she said.
She also faced several infections that caused her to need extra surgeries. Because of the illness that accompanied Hammock’s treatments and the extra surgeries, she had to miss work for several months, putting a greater strain on the family’s already tight budget. So, when Hammock was referred to Sherry’s Run again in January 2013 by the Castillian Springs Utilities, she was finally ready to see what it was all about.
When she called and spoke with Tonyia Watson, Sherry’s Run director of patient assistance, she was overwhelmed by the generosity.
“It was so refreshing to find people who genuinely cared,” said Hammock.
Now, more than a year later, Hammock is cancer free, on the mend and grateful. She said she already feels like a survivor and believes everything she went through was a blessing that brought her closer to God and closer to her family who loved and supported her. She wants to pay forward the blessing she has received.
“Now I try to pass along Sherry to others who are battling like me,” she said.
The 11th annual Sherry’s Run is scheduled for Sept. 13 at 8 a.m. on the west lawn of Wilson Bank & Trust at 623 W. Main St. in Lebanon.
The mission of Sherry’s Run is “Through faith and love create an environment for all those affected by cancer, which provides hope, knowledge, assistance, support and compassion.
To learn more about Sherry’s Run, call 615-925-2592. To refer someone who might qualify for assistance, call 615-925-9932 or visit sherrysrun.org.