Breast cancer survivor perseveres through treatment

By Albert Shelby

October 17, 2012

[caption id="attachment_12953" align="alignnone" width="300"] Records Clerk Michelle Jacobs (second from left) poses with her three daughters as they support her journey to full recovery.[/caption] Jan. 1 is supposed to be the start of a new year with new beginnings. For records clerk Michelle Jacobs, her year started out with an unexpected twist. This year, Jacobs was diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis was a shock to Jacobs because for years she was dedicated to taking the precautions that are needed to stay cancer-free. “My first reaction was fear,” Jacobs said. “I was a little frightened by it. It was definitely a surprise to me because I had done all the right things.” Jacobs said that she found a lump in her breast and immediately called her physician. After going through the necessary tests, the results ended up being positive. “I had a mammogram and we went through different testing procedures,” Jacobs said. “Once we found out I was positive, we then set up a surgery.” The doctors felt that the surgery was a success, but Jacobs still went through chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Jacobs recently finished therapy on Oct. 8 and is making strides to getting back to full strength. Even though therapy is over, she is still trying to recover from the loss of sleep and rest. “It’s been a long drawn out process through the year,” Jacobs said. “I just finished radiation therapy and it feels wonderful to be done. I still feel a bit tired, but I’m healthy.” Jacobs had to miss 11 days of work when she was going through her surgery. Missing work was not something that Jacobs wanted to do, but she knew she had to. After her surgery was over, however, she immediately went back to work. Though it is typically unusual for someone to work when going through therapy and recovery like Jacobs, she said that she set her mind to working and nothing was going to stop her. One thing that she feels that people can take from her story is the fact that you can get through it. With help from people that care, the process will be much easier. “I had a lot of support from family and friends,” Jacobs said. “I just feel that with God, family and friends, you can go through and accomplish anything." With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Jacobs feels that precautions should be made by everyone. Jacobs explained that she goes through checkups regularly to help spot any changes or diagnosis. Jacobs said precautions like these are something that everybody should go through because breast cancer is not bias to anyone. “Don’t skip you mammograms,” Jacobs said.” They are very important because that’s how breast cancer is found today. It can happen to anyone." Rachelle Motsinger is the second of Jacobs' four kids, and she encourages everyone to stay in prevention mode when it comes to breast cancer by first being aware of breast cancer and what steps should be endured to prevent the cause. Motsinger is a healthcare provider, so seeing breast cancer recipients was nothing new. When the recipient is your mother, on the other hand, you may have a totally different reaction. “It was hard to believe when I found out that my mom had breast cancer,” Motsinger said. “I see things like this all the time but you hope and pray that it will never happen to a family member of yours." Motsinger said Jacobs was one of the strongest women she knows. Being diagnosed with cancer can take a lot out of anybody, but she felt that her mother handled it like a champion. “She did really well,” Motsinger said. “She stayed positive and it made the process go smoothly. She handled it like someone would handle getting their toenail removed. So it has been easy to reassure her medically and spiritually." A piece of advice that Motsinger gives people around the world is to not think that they are exempt to being diagnosed with breast cancer. Even in this instance, Jacobs did not show any factors that would lead to breast cancer, but that did not exempt her from being a victim eventually diagnosed from the cause. As for Jacobs, she said she will continue to do her normal procedures and checkups and try to move on with life, while also staying aware. “I’m just doing the same thing I have always done,” Jacobs said. “I’m being vigilante and doing my daily duties. I have to stay cautions and do the things my doctor tells me to. I guess you could say I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”