After Jeannette Travis of Atlanta found a lump in her breast in June 2022, she researched reviews of providers in her insurance network. Her search led her to Northside breast surgeon Dr. Janine Pettiford and medical oncologist Dr. Sheetal Patel.
“I was diagnosed Oct. 12, 2022, with invasive and in situ ductal carcinoma, high grade, or triple-positive breast cancer, stage 1,” said Jeannette.
Because she’d found the lump, Jeannette says she wasn’t surprised by her diagnosis.
“When I received the call … I remember hanging up the phone and saying, ‘OK, Lord, what’s your plan; what are we doing?’
“I think I was worried about how I would break the news to my husband, my three adult children and my parents more so than anything else at that moment. I waited two days after being diagnosed before I told only my husband and children.”
Jeannette began scheduling appointments roughly two weeks after her diagnosis. Her treatment plan would consist of six rounds of chemotherapy every three weeks and a single mastectomy.
Jeannette’s first chemotherapy treatment was in November 2022 at Georgia Cancer Specialists’ Camp Creek location.
“The treatments weren’t close to what I expected, in a good way,” said Jeannette. “After my Thursday treatments, I would go to the grocery store and get some things that didn’t require a lot of time prepping and cooking. My down days were Saturday and Sunday, aka my Popeyes Chicken days; that’s the only food that didn’t lose its taste. Losing my taste was the worst side effect.”
Jeannette’s last chemotherapy treatment was in March 2023. On April 7, 2023, she had a mastectomy at Northside Hospital Atlanta. Dr. Pettiford removed five lymph nodes and Jeannette’s left breast. The surgery lasted about 3.5 hours and Jeannette was able to go home the same day.
“I was nervous about having the drain. I couldn’t imagine a bulb and tube attached to my body,” said Jeannette. “Within eight days the drain was removed. I started to be able to lift my left arm and use it more within four weeks following surgery.”
One week later, Jeannette got the good news she’d prayed for. She was cancer-free.
Another “wonderful blessing”: Jeannette wouldn’t need radiation.
“My current treatment plan consists of me taking Perjeta® and Herceptin® until December 2023; also I take Tamoxifen, one pill daily,” said Jeannette. “My recovery has been awesome. I’m pretty much back to having a normal life again.”
Jeannette said her support group has been “so awesome” during her treatment and recovery.
“I really appreciate my wonderful husband and children. They made certain I had everything I needed, from prepped meals and comfortable Uggs for treatments to satin pajamas for lounging.”
Jeannette said her parents, who live out of state, “have been here during my steps to recovery. Their outpouring of love is overflowing.”
She’s also grateful for her pastor and his wife, Bishop and Mrs. Craig L. Oliver, who have been great supporters, and to her nurse navigator, Kathy Clarke. “She’s been rocking with me since day one; she was Heaven-sent.”
“I can’t express how wonderful my Northside care team was,” said Jeannette. “I appreciate the receptionists for booking and reminding me of my appointments, my oncologist and surgeon for executing a successful healing plan, the nurses who performed my lab work, and those who administered the chemo treatments.”
Jeannette said she has resumed attending sporting events with her husband, date nights, attending church in person and traveling to spend time with her family.
“I am presently on this recovery journey and I’m not taking one second for granted.”
* 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% five-year survival rate. Patients should consult an expert to discuss specific treatment plans and the possible outcomes before making medical decisions.