Sharon LaVerne Aiken
“Yearly mammograms are so important!”
“My body is a temple of divine life and energy. I am healthy and whole!”
I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to New Haven, Connecticut with my parents James and Alperata Battle at the age of six months old. Through the years, God has blessed me with two beautiful children Dedric and Adwowa, my loving husband, James, whom I have been married to since 2003.
In October 2005, I went to have an annual mammogram. I received a letter and a phone call from my primary physician, Dr. Kumar, suggesting that I should have further testing performed on my right breast. After having a breast ultrasound, all the physicians that had seen me up to this point agreed that I should be scheduled for a surgical biopsy. On December 2, 2005, my husband James, daughter Adwowa and sister Edna checked me into Saint Raphael’s Hospital for a biopsy on my right breast. At the time of the surgery, I had no idea what the physicians might find during the surgery. I went home after the surgery to heal and wait for the pathology report. On December 3, 2005, I received a phone call from North Carolina informing me that my mother had passed away. God is so good, I had no time think about myself. I knew that I had to make several arrangements. My only son was deployed for a one year tour in Iraq. I had to contact the American Red Cross to get my son home to Connecticut and then to North Carolina.
While in North Carolina, arranging for the burial of my mother, I received a phone call from Dr. Kumar inquiring about why I had not called for my results. After explaining my mother’s sudden death, he expressed his deepest sympathy and advised me to call for my results when I returned home.
On December 12, 2005, I finally had the opportunity to meet with the physicians and review the results of my biopsy. When I received the diagnosis – “You have breast cancer!” – I was shocked, speechless and devastated. I met with Dr. Johanna M. LaSala, oncologist. She explained my breast cancer and my options. Dr. LaSala suggested that I receive six weeks of radiation followed by five years of Tamoxifen. I was unable to take the Tamoxifen because of prior medical history. Within a week, I reported to the Father McGivney Cancer Center at Saint Raphael’s Hospital to begin my radiation treatment. My radiation oncologist, Dr. Chung and the staff were “God sent” – always a smile, so helpful and supportive!
Thanks to my husband and my sisters Edna and Loretta for always staying close and giving me love and support; my daughter-in-law, Lyndell, for all the breast cancer information she downloaded; Ray and Elijah – “Mema’s Boys” – who bring so much joy into my life; family, friends and clients for all the support and beautiful cards they have given me. I am grateful to have lived to see my first grandchild, Terrell, born on September 2006. Terrell is the light of my life and has brought so much joy to our family. I give God all the glory for bringing me through this life changing experience.