breast cancer awareness, faith, hope, love

Janelle is a “40-something” nurse who works in TwelveStone’s as a clinical liaison. In early June of 2023, she found a small lump in one of her breasts. “I knew it wasn’t a cyst because it was hard like a BB.” Janelle immediately contacted her doctor and was scheduled for an ultrasound and mammogram.

The radiologist initially indicated there was no need for alarm but suggested Janelle have a biopsy. After the biopsy, Janelle received the call no one wants to get; it was cancer. She admits she was shaken as she’d been hopeful that things were okay.

Janelle was sent to a surgeon who scanned her other breast and discovered four more spots. Janelle underwent four more biopsies in three stages. One was cancer, two were not, and two were questionable. Janelle was presented with three options: a total mastectomy, a bilateral mastectomy, or a lumpectomy and radiation. After consulting with her care team, Janelle chose the latter.

The Blessing

Janelle is a woman of strong faith. “I called every prayer warrior I could get my hands on…and they delivered!” Her testimony and witness came the day the surgeon called, saying, “The good news is that two spots were normal, and your lymph nodes are clear.” The surgeon continued, “The MRI measured the tumor as 2.6 centimeters at diagnosis. Sometimes there are variances when we remove it, but your tumor was two-thirds smaller than two weeks ago.”

Janelle replied, “Well, you know why, right? My family, friends, and coworkers have prayed it away.” Janelle felt it was “awesome, wonderful God-sized news.”

The Care Plan

Janelle had to wait another two weeks while her cancerous tumor was analyzed so the appropriate care plan could be implemented. The Oncotype, which is an analysis of the tumor’s genes, gives a score of zero to 100. If it’s 27 or higher, chemotherapy is recommended. Janelle was relieved that her score was 12, saying, “So, no chemo! Another huge blessing!”

Janelle’s radiation oncologist performed biometric CT scans and determined that 20 treatments would reduce the potential for cancer recurrence to 14%. Today, she is on her 17th treatment, so just a few more to go. Janelle will continue seeing a medical oncologist for five years and receive a hormone blocker to reduce the risk of recurrence to seven percent. She’ll also take a medication to help with her recovery. Janelle shared, “The Tamoxifen makes your breast tissue go to sleep, but the rest of the hormones are there. The blocker works so the breast tissue won’t get any more hormone-fed cancer.”

Janelle says her only issues now are the bands of cords in her arm that developed after surgery, which need to be manually broken. While she’s nearly over that issue, she will be at risk for lymphedema for five years. She’s got a compression sleeve to help prevent that.

“It’s been four months now, and I’m beaten up and tired but feeling hugely blessed,” Janelle says.

The TwelveStone Family

Women like Janelle receive benefit from an immunotherapy treatment to fight non-hormone-fed cancer at the Smyrna, Georgia, TwelveStone location. Janelle says, “As a nurse and TwelveStone employee, I’ve always been empathetic, but I’ve never had a serious illness.” She continues, “This has definitely made me even more compassionate.

Janelle feels blessed to be a part of the TwelveStone family. “It was clear that I really needed faith—and the faith of the company,” she says. “I got a call from Chip, our chaplain, and other team members. I was treated so well!”

When her daughter asked, “Why you, mom?” Janelle answered, “Why not me?” Janelle says she has the “biggest God, the greatest prayer warriors, and an excellent medical team.” She says it is all part of her story and that “TwelveStone supported me through the whole thing.”

“At the end of the day,” says Janelle, “it’s not what we say; it’s about what we do. And TwelveStone delivers with support, love, and concern—to patients and employees.”