Breast cancer survivors share their journey to recovery

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

We all know someone who’s been affected by the disease.

The American Cancer Society says 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

For men, it’s 1 in 833.

” It was pretty devastating at that time. Not knowing what I know later, trying to face it and not knowing whether I would die,” said Janice Weaver, a breast cancer survivor.

Weaver has now completed her second round of treatment.

In April of 2001, Weaver found a lump on the right side of her body. Later, doctors delivered a shattering diagnosis no family wants to hear—breast cancer.

“I just never dreamed it would be cancer. It honestly took a few minutes for me to realize what was said. You have breast cancer,” said Amy Ragon, Weaver’s daughter.

Diagnosis showed Weaver had Stage 1. But she didn’t let this define her odds.

Weaver would undergo a radical mastectomy on the right side of her body, followed by chemotherapy and medication.

As months went on, hair loss, nausea, and a lack of appetite impacted her health.

” It seemed like everything we did, I always thought, this could be the last time we did this, or I may not see my grandbabies grow up. It makes you change your plans and do things a little differently,” said Weaver.

Finally, Weaver got healthier. She planned a 20-year celebration in September 2020–but things quickly turned.

She found another lump…this time on the left side. Weaver’s biopsy showed a second occurrence.

“It was much more difficult. The chemotherapy was a lot harder on me,” said Weaver.

Weaver’s immunity bottomed out during treatment. She had a lumpectomy with chemotherapy and radiation.

“We just all scrambled doing everything we could to help her,” said Ragon.

Another survivor lives a few miles North.

Natisha Frazier of Holcomb was diagnosed in August of 2021.

” I went in June for my annual mammogram, and it showed something suspicious. They sent me in July for a 3D mammogram which was still inconclusive. This year on August 5th, they did a biopsy. A few days later, I got a letter in the mail and a call that I needed to have surgery,” said Frazier.

Doctors told Frazier she was Stage 0.

Frazier underwent a double mastectomy on September 16th.

” When the lymph nodes they took were clear, and there was no spread. I don’t have to have any chemo or radiation,” said Frazier.

Weaver and Frazier agree, spreading awareness is vital.

“I have a great family and support system. A lot of friends that cooked for me and brought me things,” said Frazier.

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