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2008 survivor profile: Joanne Padgett

They say water is a healing force.

Joanne Padgett believes that's true. The 50-year-old breast cancer survivor, who was diagnosed in May 2004, calls herself "lucky" to have had chem over the summer because it meant she and her husband could spend weekends on their boat.

"I didn't want chemo or radiation to control my life," says Padgett. Humor helps too, she says. The day she woke up with a big clump of hair in her hand, she brought her husband and friends along as she got her head shaved.

"We laughed and made the best of it," she says, adding, "My husband came home every night and kissed my bald head. He was there for me every step of the way."

Padgett encourages women to be diligent about self exams and mammograms. "We've come so far even in the four years since I was diagnosed. All those people saying early detection is life saving are absolutely correct!"

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