As soon as the weather breaks, Maggie McGinty plans to ride her bike as much as possible.
The Dublin resident said she cannot wait to sign up for her second Pelotonia ride, the annual central Ohio charity bicycle tour that raises money for local cancer research at Ohio State University's James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
This year's Pelotonia event will mark almost a year since McGinty was diagnosed with cancer. By that time, she will have gone through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
"Now I'm going to be riding as a survivor," she said.
Last year, McGinty trained for Pelotonia, held at the beginning of August, with the knowledge that a lump in her breast could be diagnosed as cancer.
Days after the race, the athletics trainer for OhioHealth learned she had invasive ductal carcinoma grade 2, a curable, treatable cancer that accounts for 80 percent of breast cancers, she said.
That September, McGinty underwent genetic testing to see whether she carries an inherited mutation in a BRCA gene, which could make her susceptible to breast cancers.
The test came back negative, showing that her genetic makeup didn't predispose her to cancer.
That same month, she had a lumpectomy. Five days later, though, the surgeon called to say a couple of her lymph nodes showed cancer cells. A week later, the surgeon looked at more of her lymph nodes, which came back clean.
But because since cancer cells showed up initially, McGinty needed to undergo chemotherapy, she said.
She technically doesn't have a detectable cancer in her body because the lymph nodes containing cancer cells were removed, but the additional treatment will kill potential cancer cells that could be in her body that can't be detected, she said.
"We're kind of being proactive," she said.
In mid-October, she began a regimen of 20 weeks of treatment at the OhioHealth Bing Cancer Center that included 16 chemo sessions. For the first four treatments, she went once every two weeks for about 3 1/2-hour sessions. Then she began going weekly for 12 weeks for 90-minute sessions.
During the visits, her family would come to see her to keep her company, or she would color in coloring books, she said. Now, she often reads or chats with nurses.
Medication she receives prior to treatment means side effects are minimal, although still annoying, she said. She said she has never vomited after chemo treatments, although she has been nauseous. The treatments typically make her feel tired and they affect her ability to taste food .
McGinty said chemo treatments cause her to lose her hair, a signal to people she's battling cancer, she said.
"There's no hiding," she said.
McGinty said she has taken to wearing winter hats. There are 11 of them on her kitchen counter that were made or purchased for her by others.
After chemotherapy concludes, she'll begin a round of radiation treatments, she said. She'll receive treatment for five days per week for three to five weeks.
After radiation therapy is finished, McGinty's treatment is expected to end, she said, and she will then receive routine mammograms.
Although she admits she has days when she feels sad, she said she tells herself that she doesn't need to be because her cancer is getting cured.
McGinty's coworker of nearly a year, Heather Buettner, said McGinty keeps a positive attitude.
"I don't know how she keeps her spirits up like she does," Buettner said.
Buettner designed T-shirts coworkers to wear weekly on Fridays in support of McGinty.
They read, "You've got this, and we've got you." A Superman logo is on the shirt with a letter "M" instead of an "S."
When Buettner showed the shirts to McGinty, she said, her coworker was almost in shock.
"She was just super-excited," she said.
"Overwhelmingly amazing" is how McGinty describes the support she has received from family and friends. Cards, little gifts, and support via social media have all been shared with her since her diagnosis, she said.
McGinty's sister, Annie McGinty, said the support people have shown her sister is awe-inspiring.
"They were always in her world, but they stepped up," she said.
Annie McGinty, who lives in Hudson, Ohio, said she remembers the day her sister revealed her cancer diagnosis like it was yesterday. But she soon realized her sister is much stronger than she had thought.
When Maggie asked Annie to shave her head, for example, Annie said she wanted to sob. But her sister just told her to do it -- she wanted to hurry up and go shopping.
"So I sucked it up, shaved her head, and we went shopping," Annie said. "She never skipped a beat."