MINOT, N.D. - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Susan G. Komen foundation says that in 2019, it's estimated among U.S. women there will be more than 260,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer. And they estimate more than 41,000 deaths from breast cancer this year alone.
"Today is all yours to smile, to laugh, to love and to enjoy each bright happy moment. Cool huh? That is very cool!" said Alexa Louser.
That is just one of the hundreds of cards and messages Alexa received after being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in November of 2018.
"When I was at that appointment I just asked him to look at this lump. He was sure it was nothing but scheduled me for my first mammogram and ultrasound all of that on Wednesday. My appointment was on a Monday. Wednesday came and yes, there is a lump in there. Friday they are biopsies. I am laying there getting my biopsy where I learn there is not one lump but there are two. And on Monday about 5:30 sitting here in the office I got the phone call it was breast cancer,” said Louser.
"It wasn't really real until the first week then it kind of start to understand it. And then you really started to get it when they start losing their hair. After that you see it every day,” said Garett Elwood, Alexa’s son.
"It was a little rough,” said Kamryn Louser, Alexa’s daughter.
"You don't have a road map for it. I have not had this in my immediate family. Nobody in our immediate family as dealt with anything like this,” said Scott Louser, Alexa’s husband.
Scott says that she took it head-on and was determined to beat the cancer. Soon after the chemo started, despite the efforts of both Alexa and the doctors to keep some of her hair, most of it was falling out.
"It was on Valentine's Day that my whole family came together and I had the kids all cut my hair off," said Alexa.
"Brave. Because I would be scared if someone was cutting my hair off,” says Kamryn Louser.
"I did not want to cut all her hair off,” said Kendyl Louser, Alexa’s daughter.
"It was hardest on my four year old. We did leave a part in the front that she would run her fingers though if she sat on my lap at night," says Alexa Louser.
"I was worried that she would never grow her hair back,” said Kendyl Louser.
Alexa would wear wigs during this time, and the girls decided she needed a place to put them.
"One of the sales people at the Boot Barn says well we have this cowboy hat wrack. I said no, I don't think that would work and our youngest daughter said she could put her hair on it,” said Scott.
Then in June, Alexa heard those two incredible words:
"Cancer free," said Alexa.
"That was great. I went to Mayo with her and it was a relief. It's finally over and I don't have to worry about that anymore,” said Elwood.
"I am not usually speechless but I was speechless. Dr. Dagnum called and told me that, I could just say thank you. It was really disbelief that it had happened. It was seven months since I was diagnosed that I was now told you're cancer free,” said Alexa.
Now a survivor, Alexa says she wants to start a support group for those affected by cancer.
Alexa went through six big rounds of chemo before being told she was cancer free, but it didn't end there. She then had a double mastectomy, 30 rounds of radiation and 12 maintenance rounds of chemo to ensure the cancer was gone.
She is already helping to support others in the community affected by cancer.