Northside Hospital - Breast cancer survivor on the power of positivity

Breast cancer survivor on the power of positivity

Posted on: May 29, 2019


During a regular self-exam, Jackie noticed that something didn’t feel normal in her left breast. A little over a month later, Jackie was having a physical when she explained her concern to her doctor. Even though her doctor couldn’t feel anything at the time, she recommended a mammogram.

Nearly a month after her physical, a scan revealed an 8-9mm pea-sized lump in Jackie’s breast. Jackie immediately scheduled to visit a surgeon and had a biopsy. The results revealed Jackie had HER2-positive Stage 1 breast cancer.

Fortunately for Jackie, Dr. Christina Saurel, an oncologist at the Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic (NGDC), was there to guide her through the upcoming treatment process.

Dr. Saurel was very knowledgeable and confident and answered all of my questions about the treatment process,” Jackie said. “I’m convinced she would have sat there answering my questions all day long.”

Together, Jackie and Dr. Saurel decided it would be in Jackie’s best interest that she undergo chemotherapy before having surgery to remove the mass in her breast. Looking back, Jackie says it was positivity that kept her going through treatment.

I’m just very positive as a person,” she said. “I try and keep some happiness in my back pocket for the days when I really need it, but I also try to remind myself that things could always be worse.”

Jackie is currently wrapping up radiation therapy and will complete her treatment regimen in May.

In addition to her attitude, Jackie thanks Dr. Saurel for the smoothness of her treatment process.

Dr. Saurel just hit it out of the park,” she said. “She was positive, told me the truth, the good and the bad. We even shared some laughs together!

Nearing the end of her treatment, Jackie says she now goes out of her way to stress to other women the importance of regular mammograms and self-exams, going as far to describe it as preaching.

You have to preach about things you know it can make a positive difference.”

*The health story shared here may portray atypical results of survival for this type of cancer, given its severity and stage. Atypical results are considered surviving a cancer that has less than a 50 percent five-year survival rate. Patients should consult an expert to discuss specific treatment plans and the possible outcomes before making medical decisions.

Filed under: Cancer, Patient Stories,


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