In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Jerry Jefferson, member of Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo, TX, shared a little bit of her story with us.
The day that Jerry Jefferson went in for her regular mammogram 25 years ago looked like any other day. Little did she know, a miracle was in the works.
“Miracle” isn’t a word typically associated with a breast cancer diagnosis, but when her physician requested a follow-up mammogram revealing a lump in one of Jefferson’s breasts, a miracle is exactly what took place.
The decision was made to remove the small lump, which turned out benign; however, upon examining the tissue, Jefferson’s doctor found an additional spot which had evaded the mammogram. This time it was cancerous.
“I just praise God for the fact that I had the mammogram because it pointed to one thing and through that, something else was found,” said Jefferson, a member of Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo. “I didn’t have to have treatment; instead I opted to have it removed through a mastectomy. I just wanted it gone.”
From the first mammogram until the mastectomy, the entire process spanned only a few weeks, but that didn’t make the experience any less unsettling for Jefferson. After all, no one is ever fully prepared to hear this kind of news.
“I was startled when my doctor called me, saying ‘we have a problem’,” she said. “Treatment has gotten so much better, but back then, reports were not always good.”
A 59-year-old at the time with two daughters, Jefferson credits her friends, faith and family to being strong sense of support throughout the surgery and recovery process.
“My husband was so supportive. His first words were, ‘honey that was no big thing anyway,’ and we laughed over that,” she said.
Anyone who has experienced or walked through Breast Cancer with a loved one can attest to the fact that there is no “easy” way. While everyone’s journey is different— each with its highs and lows— the thing that remains constant is the bravery of each woman who has fought the battle. That’s why we recognize women like Jerry Jefferson, who can now share her encouraging story of hope and restoration with others.
“I’m just very thankful,” she said. “I’ve had a close walk with the Lord the whole time- before and after. I think sometimes that makes things easier than if you don’t,” she said.
Her advice to women everywhere: “Be sure to have your mammograms.”