What’s scarier than reality television? What you might learn from it.
One Wednesday evening in September, Johanna Jones, 36, and a mother of two, got off work early and was watching a segment of Doctor Oz on television in which he was describing how to detect breast cancer and early symptoms that give it away in honor of the upcoming breast cancer awareness month.
Later that evening, she noticed she had symptoms similar to those she had just learned about, such as drainage, indentions and swelling.
Hesitant to tell her family, she went to the doctor the very next as a precautionary measure and was misdiagnosed with infected milk ducts, and was promptly put on antibiotics.
Later on, after completing a diagnostic mammogram, doctors discovered two spots in her left breast and immediately wanted to perform a biopsy.
Two spots that doctors originally thought were calcifications, which nine times out of 10, are noncancerous.
However, a couple weeks later on Oct. 4, she went back in for another biopsy, and got a very different diagnosis.
On Oct. 7, she was diagnosed with DCIS, Ductal carcinoma in situ — stage zero.
On November 16, Jones underwent a double mastectomy. However, it was detected early enough that neither chemotherapy or radiation was required.
At the time, she had two daughters who were 13 and seven years old, respectively. They served as an inspiration for her to stay strong during this fight.
“Mommy’s gonna fight this no matter what,” Jones said to her daughters. “I’m going to fight this horrible disease; it isn’t gonna take me.”
Jones held true to her word. As of Nov. 16, she will have been cancer free for seven years. Upon being declared cancer free, Jones said she has been overwhelmed and grateful.
“I was totally overwhelmed, I thank God, I thank (the doctors), I thank everybody for the support,” Jones said. “I was just so relieved I was able to fight it.”
As for all the women in the community, Jones recommends getting a mammogram every year and have any suspicion checked out. Anyone can get it.
Jones will also be a participant in this years Paint it Pink walk. There, she will being telling everyone to take the same precautionary measures that she did — because by taking said measures, people can save their lives.
“Yeah I survived it, and not a day goes by I don’t thank God for it,” Jones said.
So this Friday, wear pink and join Jones and others like her in this walk of hope and paint this town pink.