COVINGTON, Ga. – Just two days before her annual mammogram, 84-year-old Bessie Roberts found a lump in her breast while conducting a self-exam in her morning shower.
“When I went to get my mammogram, I told her and she did the biopsy. It came back and it was cancer,” she said.
“I was scared. After I did the biopsy and it came back and she told me she was going to do the surgery, but she’s got it. It hadn’t spread.”
Found at Stage 1, Roberts initially thought she was going to lose her breast in surgery.
“That’s what we were preparing for to do all of that,” Dannie Wiggins, Roberts’ daughter, said adding that the work of Dr. Erica Scott, at Piedmont Newton Hospital, was what saved her mother’s breast and helped her fight through the treatments.
“Her name is Dr. Jesus,” she said. “The Heavenly Father Jesus guided Dr. Scott.”
Roberts then underwent four weeks of radiation treatment, which she described as a quick process.
“They put that light across you two or three times and then I’m finished,” she said. “It didn’t take no time.”
Wiggins said the radiation treatments did not make Roberts sick or slow her down one bit.
“If you didn’t know she had the surgery, you would never know she had it,” she said.
Roberts is now officially six months cancer-free.
With no family history of breast cancer, Roberts said she was taught about self-exams during her first mammogram, and has been doing them regularly ever since.
“Do the self-exam,” she said. “Every time you take a bath or a shower, whatever, do it.”
“I think if my mom hadn’t of done that, she would have never known she had that lump and they may have caught it on the mammogram, but sometimes they don’t,” Wiggins said.
Roberts said she knows her body best and she was able to find when something abnormal was going on with her body better than a mammogram.
“You know your body better than anybody else,” she said.
Roberts credited the entire staff of Piedmont Newton Hospital with making her treatment process as smooth as possible.
“You know, when you’re already going through something like that and then to have to deal with someone who is rude or has had a bad day and is taking it out on you, that doesn’t help at all,” Wiggins said. “None of them were like that.”