One Dover college student beats cancer during the pandemic
DOVER, Del.- A roller coaster, that’s how Alexis Howerin describes her life in 2020.
“I have had some of my highest highs and lowest lows with going through this,” Howerin said.
Howerin said it all started when she decided to check herself for breast cancer.
The Wesley College, field hockey athlete, was diagnosed in January 2020, when she was just 21-years-old.
She was not only battling breast cancer, but she had to deal with the changes COVID-19 brought.
“At that time in march the pandemic hit so with that came a little bit of pull from my doctors,” Howerin said.
Howerin said one of those challenges was that she was already thinking ahead and wanted to make sure she could have children in the future.
And with the pandemic closing many businesses, she had to travel far distances for treatments like egg retrieval.
“And that was a huge problem for us because that had to be done before I started treatment, so I got transferred up to PA,” Howerin said.
Another, change was the new rules hospitals enforced.
“When you walk into the hospital, you get your COVID screening, they take your temperature, they ask you questions,” Howerin said.
But, the biggest challenge of them all Howerin said was not having her family in the room with her during chemo treatments and appointments.
“It was hard, it was very hard, especially being so young and being my moms youngest child, its what no parent wants to see,” Howerin said.
Howerin’s medical oncologist said the journey wasn’t always easy, but Howerin kept up a positive attitude.
“She is a true inspiration to tackle a breast cancer diagnosis, at such a young age, and to do it with such grace and with such strength,” Dr. Rishi Sawhney, Howerin’s Medical Oncologist and Bayhealth Cancer Institute Medical Director, said.
Howerin said this experience was life changing and full of new challenges, but the love and support everyone around her showed is what Howerin said really helped her pull through.
“It was a sigh of relief to say hey, we did this, it wasn’t just me it was we,” Howerin said.
Howerin said the wants to stress the important of doing self-checks for cancer.
The Wesley College student is set to graduate in May and already secured a long term substitute teacher position in the Smyrna School District.