While she said part of embracing that philosophy comes with age, Moore said her battle with breast cancer forced her to accept that as her new way of life.
“The little things that used to upset me do not,” she said. “I try to make a concentrated effort to not get all torn up about things that, in the big picture, are not really important.”
Moore’s battle with breast cancer began 3½ years ago after a routine visit to get a mammogram.
She had scar tissue in her left breast from where she had a benign lump removed about 30 years ago. So, doctors were vigilant about watching that area for any growths.
Test results over the years had always come back negative.
However, March 2008 would be different.
When she received a letter informing her of something suspicious, Moore said she didn’t pay much attention to it.
She later opened the letter, which said she needed to get a biopsy because of an area in her right breast.
The tiny lump in her right breast was confirmed to be cancerous.
“Well, I didn’t know if I was going to live or die,” she said.
Breast cancer runs in Moore’s family. Her aunt underwent a double mastectomy in her 30s. However, her mother is 87 years old and “has never been sick.”
Moore’s husband, Mark Moore, who was with his wife when he heard the news, said he was surprised because he believed the biopsy results would come back negative.
“When it was positive, I just thought, ‘This is another challenge we’d been presented in our lives and we’d have to deal with it,’” he said.
The Moores are keenly aware of tragedy. Moore was pregnant with twin boys when one died before he was born, and the other passed away at the age of 3.
Peggy Moore underwent a lumpectomy that removed 19 lymph nodes, six rounds of chemotherapy and 30 days of radiation.
Along with the medical treatment, Peggy Moore said she decided to not worry about whether she’d live or die, and started to focus on enjoying each day that was granted to her.
“Your attitude controls a lot of your illness,” she said, adding stress breaks down a person’s immune system.
She also said she began “alkalizing” her system, meaning she took in foods and drinks that reduce the acidic levels in her body.
Mark Moore said he purchased a journal that allowed his wife to record each doctor visit and test result.
On the front, the notebook reads “The Fate to be Free” and on the back is a detour sign with the phrase, “This is just a detour in life, not a dead end.”
Peggy Moore said her husband, the notebook and her friends served as a source of strength while she was undergoing treatments.
“The best thing I can say about the experience is my husband was my big supporter,” she said.
She said doctors have informed her that her prognosis is good, but she remains mindful the disease could come back.
Mark Moore said he and his wife also kept a positive attitude on the diagnosis and encouraged their friends and family to live their normal lives and not worry about the disease.
“I never for a moment thought I would lose her and I’m just thankful for the positive results,” he said.
Peggy Moore, who is retired, is actively involved in the arts community in Cherokee County. She has been a long-time member of the Cherokee County Arts Council.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia. She and her husband have three sons and two grandchildren and attend Canton First United Methodist Church.
Moore said she continues to celebrate each day and also hopes other women battling breast cancer will keep a positive outlook on their lives.
“I just say a little prayer for them and thank God I’m here another day,” she said. “What was drilled into my head is ‘This, too, shall pass’ and it’ll be okay.”