A regular exam in 2003 led to a cancer diagnosis for Enterprise resident Eulene Jones. “I went in for a routine exam in October of 2003. I saw Dr. Karen Mockler. she was very thorough. The next day the doctor called and said I needed an ultrasound. Things happened really fast,” Jones said. “I saw Dr. Sam Sawyer for a biopsy. He determined a lumpectomy was needed, but that it was no rush.”
Jones was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She said she was scared. “When you hear the word ‘cancer’ it scares you to death-no matter the size.”
Jones waited until after the November holidays and time with family to have the procedure.
Under the advice of Dr. Mockler, Jones went to Montgomery and had the procedure performed by a doctor that pioneered lymph node research. The doctor determine that the cancer was not in the lymph nodes.
Jones said the hardest part was meeting with the oncologist. “It was hard. He would not decide for me whether I should take chemotherapy treatments or not. He gave me just the facts. It was a decision I had to make for myself.”
Jones opted not to take chemotherapy treatments. “I decided not to take chemo. So, I had 34 radiation treatments.” Jones said that she did really well with treatments. “I’ve done fine. I am 73 years old. I’ve had a long life after cancer. I don’t really think about it except in October.”
Sixteen years later Jones recalls treatments. “Radiation was a piece of cake. They build the form and the radiation takes minutes. I never lost my hair or got sick. Toward the last few treatments I did begin to feel weak.”
Jones credits her positive attitude to her faith in God and the support of her family, friends and her church. “You have to know that God is going to take care of you. I received lots of calls from people with positive stories. You do not need to hear any negative thoughts,” Jones said. “It really is just something to get through.”
Jones’ advice to anyone going through a cancer diagnosis is simple. “Have faith in God, do what the doctor says, put yourself first.”
Jones said she didn’t have any small children when she was diagnosed. She continued to work and stayed active. “When you have small children, it is hard to put yourself first,” Jones said. “But when you have a cancer diagnosis it is important. Also, your attitude is important. You can’t just have a pity party.”
Jones stressed, “It is just something to get through.”
“I kept a calendar. It was like a journal. I kept up with the treatments. When I reached the halfway mark, I knew I was going to make it through. Self exams and routine mammograms are important. I did not find the lump myself. If I had not had a regular exam, it might have been worse.”
Jones repeated, “It really is just something to get through. Be positive. Be upbeat. Have faith in God. Don’t listen to the negative.”