Ginette Jackson

Age: 68
Profession: Retired
Type of Breast Cancer: Stage II Breast Cancer
Year of Diagnosis: 2006
Number of years as a survivor: 12
Relationship to Susan G Komen: Race participant

My name is Ginette Jackson, and 12 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer.

After a routine mammogram, a lump was found on my right breast. Although my physician recommended a biopsy, I didn’t overthink it. It was the month of October in 2006, and while it was breast cancer awareness month, I was concerned about spending time with my family. I went ahead with the biopsy, but right after the exam, I traveled to Fort Knox, KY for my granddaughter’s birthday. By the time I returned, there were two messages on my answering machine, one from the physician’s office and another from the physician himself. Because of the urgency in which the doctor asked me to come into the office, I knew the results were not good news.

I was shocked when my doctor gave me the diagnosis of breast cancer. The entire moment was surreal. I did not cry, I did not feel like myself. I was referred to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center for surgery and further treatment. Within two weeks of my initial consultation, my surgeon and I decided that a mastectomy was the best choice for me. This time, I cried my heart out.

I did not share my diagnosis with my family right away. In November 2006, a few days after my mastectomy, I told my family the news. Following the surgery, I was in chemotherapy for almost 6 months. I felt sick for weeks. At the point I had no more strength, I trusted deeper in God and thought that this should pass.

I have always loved taking pictures, but after all, I was going through, I did not have the courage to face a camera. I began to find myself when I was invited to a baby shower. My friend was not expecting me, but I went and took beautiful pictures. At that time, I had to hold my camera a certain way because I had pain from the surgery. Even so, I was happy I did not let my condition stop me from doing something I enjoyed.

Being a Survivor helped me appreciate life. I have a second chance, and I have the support of family and friends. I joined a support group of women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. It is incredible to witness and share stories of how each of us is doing 5 years, 7 years, and even 12 years after the diagnosis. It might be different for you, you may feel sick; but be positive, have faith, exercise, eating right, and you will feel better. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, I’ve seen it in so many women!

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