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Michelene Horning — HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Patient Story

Michelene Horning

Michelene was always faithful about getting her annual mammogram. In September 2019, Michelene went for her routine mammogram, but this time it was different. She was asked to come back in for further testing and was diagnosed breast cancer, granular crystals, HER2, stage 1B.

Michelene saw Mohammad Tahir, MD, breast surgeon at UPMC Magee-Womens Breast Health Center in Williamsport. She underwent surgery including a lumpectomy and removal of two lymph nodes. She was referred to Amanda Swanson certified registered nurse practitioner in hematology and medical oncology at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Coudersport. “Amanda and all the staff at the cancer center made me feel so at ease, taking their time to answer all my questions,” says Michelene.

She started 12 rounds of chemotherapy in February 2020. At Michelene’s first treatment, she met with one of the volunteers, who was so compassionate. She said to her “if I’m ever well enough after treatment, I am coming back to help on the other side like you.”

After chemotherapy, Michelene underwent a month of radiation therapy. She was able to finish all her treatments on her birthday in July. Throughout almost all her treatments, Michelene felt good and was able to continue to walk 5 miles each day. Michelene attributes her success to the caring staff at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, her supportive husband, family, and church community.

“Each day, I thank God for another beautiful day of life. My faith got me through this cancer journey along with my support system,” says Michelene.

Michelene is now a volunteer at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Coudersport, giving her time and compassion back to those who once supported her. She encourages all women to have their annual mammogram screening.


Michelene's treatment and results may not be representative of similar cases.