TIFTON — Jacqueline Davis knew something wasn’t right.
“It was after I had come off a cruise with some friends back in late June, 2017,” Davis said. “About two weeks after that, in July, I got up one morning about three o’clock. I had a little itch, a sting, in my right breast and when I scratched it I felt it. I never did go back to sleep.”
Davis felt a knot in her breast and went to the doctor the same day, but had to wait until the following Monday for a mammogram. The doctor came back with the result no one wants to get.
“He read everything out and he told me it was breast cancer,” she said. “I went into shock. I heard the word ‘cancer’ but anything else he said I didn’t hear. I was just frozen.”
Davis was diagnosed with stage two triple-negative breast cancer, which doesn’t usually show up in women in their early fifties, like she was.
“He told me it was very aggressive,” she said.
Davis had to go through weeks of chemo, treatments and radiation to shrink the cancer so they could remove it.
“It was bad,” she said. “It was not a good feeling. I was just like, how can people do this? This poison is going through your body. But through it I was just trying to hold up and be strong for everybody.”
She said that she had a great group of supporters, from her family to her coworkers at the Tift County Tax Commissioner’s Office, where she has worked for more than 20 years.
She talked about how she went to work one day and all of her coworkers were wearing shirts supporting her.
She worked as long as she could, but eventually had to stop because of how weak she got.
“I was out for about a year with all this,” she said.
Davis’ surgery to remove the cancer was in July 2018.
“My biggest fear was that it would spread,” she said. “If it was going to spread, then I’d rather just leave it alone and let me have my time. I didn’t want to go in one way and come out another.”
Luckily, the chemo worked, the cancer shrank and the doctor was able to remove all of it.
“I went through radiation after that,” she said. “I went through radiation for about two months, every week, twice a week. That wasn’t as bad as chemo.”
Davis said that she is still seeing the doctor every three months. She uses that as an opportunity to visit with other cancer patients and encourage them.