Rhonda Jones Story
My name is Rhonda Dalton Jones. I am 48 years old and I am a breast cancer survivor!! My breast cancer journey begins like a lot of other women start their breast cancer journey. I have been doing self-exams and getting mammograms since I was around 30 years old since my mom, who is also a breast cancer survivor, was diagnosed more than 25 years ago.
I make my annual appointment at the Imaging Center for August 6, 2019. I decided to get the 3D mammogram and boy am I glad that I did. Then I get THE phone call. It was the Imaging Center asking me to come in for additional views. I IMMEDIATELY knew, without a doubt, that something was wrong so I started praying. I told my husband what was said and he told me to not to worry, we would face it together. I did not want to worry my friends or other family members so I did not want to tell them but my stress at trying to remain normal became too much so I told them. Praying continued and I felt relief that I had so many people praying with and for me.
I go in for the additional imaging which included another mammogram and a biopsy. A couple of days later, my husband and I go to meet with the Nurse Navigator and the Physician. I was beyond nervous!! They delivered the news that yes, the mass in my breast was malignant. I tried to keep it together but we have all heard stories[RJ1] of women dying from breast cancer so I was shook[RJ2] to my core! I immediately thought of my children. Yes, they were 20 and 25 at the time but they needed their mother! The Nurse Navigator told me that she had set me up with the A-Team and that I was in great hands.
Later on in Aug, the doctor visits started. I now had an Oncologist and a Surgeon on my medical team which seemed unbelievable since I had previously only had my family physician. I had been completely healthy or at least I thought I was!! No medicine, just routine doctor visits and my annual physical.
I decided to undergo genetic testing to see if I carried the BRCA gene which would indicate if I had an increased risk of developing Ovarian Cancer. The results came back negative, THANK GOD!!
I had been debating on whether to get a lumpectomy which is when the surgeon removes the mass, a mastectomy where the infected breast is removed, or a bilateral mastectomy where both breasts are removed. Decisions, decisions, decisions!! I consulted with my family, other breast cancer survivors who I knew had undergone mastectomies and some with lumpectomies, and of course my medical team. I decided to do a bilateral mastectomy for several reasons. With me being fairly young with hopefully at least 40-50 more years to live I did not want to have to worry about the cancer coming back so I decided to have the bilateral mastectomy in October 2019. They also removed a few lymph nodes. Thank God, the test results came back that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes and the surgeon got it all out!! I was CANCER FREE!!!
I still had to undergo further treatment since I had Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Although my numbers were low, the diagnosis deemed that I follow a certain treatment regimen. There are side effects to the treatment but I can deal with those because I STILL HAVE MY LIFE! I AM STILL STANDING! I AM HERE TO TELL MY STORY! I AM A SURVIVOR!