My name is Sonya Jefferson-Patton. I am 47, a mother (1 daughter), a grandmother (1 grandson), and a 6 year breast cancer survivor.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer November 2006 …7 months after my first mammogram at age 40.
During a self-examination in the shower I felt a lump (THE LUMP).
I had never felt the marble sized lump before. Immediately, a wave of fear came over me. I knew I had to go to the doctor but I was too afraid. My gut told me something was wrong, but I waited for over a month before I went to the doctor.
When I finally went to the doctor, they immediately ordered a biopsy. After a few days of waiting, I got the dreaded news that it was breast cancer. I thought my world was going to end. After hearing the news, I could hear nothing else my doctor was talking about. I mean, her lips were moving to discuss the diagnosis, but I heard NOTHING else until she finished the discussion with the beautiful words…THIS IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE.
I did a lot of crying and praying after I was first diagnosed, but I decided that this was not going to be my death sentence. I had to get up to put on my “war clothes” to fight!!!
Even though my daughter was away in college, both she and the rest of my family were my support. I knew that with them and God on my side, anything and all things were possible.
I had breast conservation therapy also known as a lumpectomy in January 2007. It was a success, and no lymph nodes were affected.I had to undergo 8 rounds of chemotherapy, 6 weeks of radiation, and 1 year of an additional treatment called Herceptin. Even though chemotherapy was rough, and I ended up hospitalized for 3 days with neutropenic fever, I was NOT defeated. All I could think was I WAS CANCER FREE!!!!
Before breast cancer, I rarely participated in breast cancer events. Now, I participate in 5k race/walks for the cure. I also use my experience as a way to reassure and assist anyone I come in contact with that is going through breast cancer.
I think joining a support group like Sisters by Choice was helpful. You have a group of like-minded people that are encouraging and uplifting. They understand the struggle a breast cancer patient has. Plus, the support group provides a wealth of information.
Keep God first in all you do!!!