Mrs. Yeatts powering through battle with breast cancer


Hannah Scearce, Reporter


“I was not afraid,” said Tunstall’s beloved librarian Mrs. Linda Yeatts when first learning about her August 2021 diagnosis with breast cancer.

Mrs. Yeatts has always been a vibrant character in our school, even before her diagnosis with breast cancer in 2021. After her diagnosis and first few treatments Mrs. Yeatts began to lose her hair, but she quickly bounced back and made light of her diagnosis with a beautiful array of wigs and hats that she showcases daily. She has several wigs in a beautiful mix of colors and lengths, including a glow-in-the-dark wig and a Cindy Lou Who wig that will soon make an appearance.

During her five-hour infusion treatments, she passes the time by journaling, writing thank you notes, and praying. “I’ve always been an independent person, but this has made me open up and be willing to receive any help others want to give” She has taken this time in her life to reflect and mend relationships, rather than push people away.

Mrs. Yeatts was not expecting her cancer diagnosis, as she thought a large lump was probably just a swollen lymph node from her last COVID vaccine in March 2021, but in July several biopsies and an MRI confirmed a fast growing triple negative breast cancer. Since her diagnosis she has been starting her days by walking and jogging for an hour, praying, drinking a very specific amount of 16 glasses of water, and listening to and thinking of positive affirmations. “I’m using this time to build up my physical and emotional health.”

Some of the hardest parts of her treatments have been muscle weakness, neuropathy in her hands and feet, and swelling and the majority of her side effects tend to come during the weekend after she gets her treatments. Mrs. Yeatts claims that her oncologist feels strikingly similar to the famous Harry Potter character “Severus Snape” in the way that he works his “potions” magic so well.

“This school has been my biggest support system,” says Mrs. Yeatts about who/what has been her biggest support system through her diagnosis and treatments. She also says that her church family has been wonderful to her, sending her flowers and cards. Another breast cancer survivor even sent her a gift basket of things that she knew from experience would be helpful to her throughout her treatment.

In October of 2021, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Junior Canacy Bruce made “Team Yeatts” shirts in bright pink for $15 and all of the proceeds went to Mrs. Yeatts. During the Dig Pink game, there were auctioned items where all proceeds also went to Mrs. Yeatts.

“It has been an incredible blessing,” says Yeatts about the support she has gotten from everyone around her throughout her journey.

Mrs. Yeatts has two more chemo infusions with a hopeful end date of Feb. 23rd. After the end of her chemo treatments she will go in for an MRI to show treatment success and then she will go in for surgery and four weeks of twenty daily rounds of radiation.

Finally, “Severus Snape,” is requesting she do another year of Keytruda, an immunotherapy drug, every three weeks to ensure no recurrence of the cancer.