Editor's note: This is part of a series of articles designed to highlight local cancer survivors who are taking part in this Saturday's Randolph County Relay For Life.
Elkins resident Jeanette Phillips feels very blessed to have welcomed a new great-grandchild last week, and she looks forward to the upcoming birth of another great-grandchild due next week.
"I am so fortunate to be able to see my new great-grandchildren being born," Phillips said.
Six years ago while she was at church, Phillips became very ill.
"I was spitting up blood and what looked like coffee grounds," she said. "My daughter took me to the doctor, and they ordered a biopsy of my esophagus and stomach. It turns out I had cancer in both areas."
Phillips said her doctor sent her to Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.
"There, the physicians performed laparoscopic surgery to remove the diseased portions of my stomach and esophagus," she said. "My doctors told me there would be a shorter recovery time if the surgery was laparoscopic."
Phillips said she was back home within a week. After her surgery, she had three chemotherapy sessions at the Cancer Care Center at Davis Memorial Hospital.
She said she also had surgery for bladder cancer since her cancer diagnosis, and now she is careful to have regular checkups.
"When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I did not dream anything was wrong with me," Phillips said. "That is why it is so important for people to keep up with preventive measures and report anything abnormal to their doctor."
Phillips said she is fortunate to have a wonderful family that was very supportive during her illness.
"I am blessed, and I thank the good Lord that my cancer was found early and that I am still surviving," she said.
Phillips is one of many local community members taking part in this year's Randolph County Relay For Life, set to begin at noon Saturday at Elkins High School's track.