In March of 2012, Lucy Joe found a lump in her breast and became concerned. Initially, doctors believed it was a cyst and did not authorize further testing.
Eight months later, at the age of 49, just before her 50th birthday, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Early detection saves lives, if doctors find it,” Joe said.
She was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, and on Jan. 18, 2013, she had a mastectomy. After her surgery she had eight rounds of chemotherapy and 25 radiation treatments.
One of the hardest things about her treatment was losing her hair, Joe said. She describes how she hid from her husband after losing her hair.
“I didn’t marry you for your hair, I married you because I love you,” Joe’s husband told her.
Following her treatment she got reconstructive surgery and joined a support group based out of Savannah called Support B.R.A.S.
“I really went through a journey,” Joe said. “I lost my hair, nails, and couldn’t taste food due to the medication.”
Now in remission, Joe has lost friends and family to breast cancer, including an aunt who passed away in March of this year.
She says she will never forget the day she was diagnosed and even questioned herself if she heard the doctor correctly.
In her support group, sometimes they laugh, sometimes they cry, but they are a sisterhood of women who are or have battled breast cancer.
“The question, ‘Will it comeback?’ stays, in the back of a survivor’s brain,” Joe said. “This is a journey, and you can’t give up in the fight, you can’t be pitiful and powerful at the same time.”