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Cancer strikes again...‘I was scared’

Joyce M. Searson, Publisher

Cancer is not just an ugly word that none of us wants to hear. It is a monster and can strike at any given time…but when it strikes the same person twice, it is really scary.

That is how Jann Biernacki felt when she was diagnosed a second time with cancer in January of this year.

“I was scared when I saw the card from my doctor, I knew something was wrong,” said Jann.

She called her friend, Carol Ann Bunch, to see if she received a card in the mail, because both of them had mammograms at the same time. No, Carol Ann had not received a card. A red flag went up and she had a feeling that something was not right.

Jann had been a cancer survivor for fourteen years. She was diagnosed in 1997 with non-invasive ductal carcinoma at the age of 52. During that time, she had a lumpectomy, followed by six months of chemotherapy with thirty five treatments of radiation and took Tamoxifen for five years.

‘I thought I had won the battle. I was in shock when I received the news that I had cancer again. I cried because I had already seen what cancer, could do to someone’s life…But I accepted it and faced it head on.”

She immediately called her doctor to find out what was going on. After having an ultrasound and a biopsy, she was diagnosed with Lobular Carcinoma in the same area where she previously had cancer fourteen years ago.

“I did not want to take any chances this time, so I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy, even though the cancer was in just one breast. Cancer runs in my family. My mother had breast cancer and ovarian cancer. I lost my sister to lymphoma of the brain.”

Jann says she has been very fortunate and blessed because, with the first cancer, she was never sick from the chemo and did not lose any of her hair. This time she only missed one week of work and will only have to take a hormone treatment pill…no chemo or radiation this time.

She gives thanks and praise to her family, her friends and her church for all their support, but most of all to God for answering prayer.

“I am going to live the rest of my life to the fullest and enjoy every moment that God has given me.”

Her advice to all women is, ‘never miss your yearly mammogram because early detection is the key to good treatment results.'

Jann has been the secretary for Bamberg First Baptist Church for forty one years. She has a wonderful husband, Frank, and three sons- Bill, Bob and Keith Crosby, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Yes, Jann is a survivor…she is always positive and never gives up…a true example for us all.

 
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