Welcome. It’s another beautiful year! The response to the calendar for Sisters Journey was overwhelming. Never before have so many among us revealed our inner feelings about dealing with breast cancer. Different faces, both familiar and not so well known, heralded new months for another year of life and the triumphs of good health care and the love of family and friends.
The word about the value of monthly self-breast examinations and regular medical attention spread to all who gaze upon the portraits and essays. You see, that is what this calendar is all about – women of color are needlessly suffering the physical and emotional anguish that breast cancer brings to them and their families. For most, early detection is the key to successful treatment. “Be an advocate of your own body” is what our founder, Linda White-Epps always said. Monthly breast examinations, checkups, and mammograms are the tools to use. We must take advantage of those tools. We must not fear the consequences. We can win! The stories of those who have addressed this disease prove the value of facing the situations.
As we embark on yet another year and the seventh adventure into publishing a 2007 calendar, I look back with happy feelings of success. On the dawn of another year of life, we are all blessed. Whether we battle with crucial decisions about our health or whether we are enjoying
another time of freedom from cancer, we are together supporting each other.
I want to thank each and every one of you who helped, once again, with this project. Materially, the calendar has brought monetary contributions to the Sisters Journey Support Group, providing assistance to those in need of breast prostheses, wigs, lymphoma.
We stand ready to spread the word in the African-American community that with early diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence. We are available to speak to any church or organization that is interested in hearing a testament for survivors. We can be contacted at 203-228-3556.
Making a calendar has highlighted the strengths of your sisters – women who have faced and defeated breast cancer. We share your triumphs each and every year. Again, thank you for your continued support throughout the year. We would not have been able to without you.
Phyllis W. White
My journey started in February 2001. I went for my yearly mammogram. I have been doing so since 1993 when my sister Frances Jackson made her transition to heaven and met up with our mother and father after losing her battle to breast cancer.
I began my journey on October 24, 2004 when I discovered fluid in both of my breasts. After composing myself, I immediately called my doctor to schedule an appointment.
One day, many years ago, I discovered a small pea-like object in my left breast. I didn’t think much of it, but put myself on alert.
When the technician took the mammogram a second time, I began to worry. The technician said that they saw a “mass” on the film, and they would contact my physician.
I discovered a lump in my right breast during the later part of 2005. The lump had been throbbing and had become very painful.
In September 2000, I was 33 years old and happily living and working as an educator in Benin, West Africa, truly fulfilling my life’s calling. One morning while getting dressed, I felt a lump in my right breast.
A mammogram diagnosis, doctor’s visits and preparations for my family and friends for the journey that was about to begin.
I had been living in Las Vegas one year when one evening, while taking a shower, I felt a lump in my right breast. I had neglected to get my yearly mammogram and reluctantly waited two weeks before seeing my doctor, hoping my discovery would go away.
May 2004 I was diagnosed with breast cancer after discovering a lump in one of my breast weeks earlier during my monthly self exams.
On February 2, 2005 my husband and I checked into the medical facility in preparation for surgery to my left breast. The medical reports indicated a lump.
Novella Lyons knows first-hand the effect that breast cancer has on women and their families. Her mother’s diagnosis and subsequent death in 1975 was Novella’s first experience with breast cancer, and that left a vivid impact upon her life.
On September 20, 2002, while taking a shower and doing my monthly self breast examination, I discovered a large lump in my right breast.