Inner strength, a compassionate medical team, caring family and friends, and faith in God, are what carried Jackie Webb through one of the worst ordeals of her life – breast cancer. As a busy mom, she quickly discovered that breast cancer does not discriminate and it doesn’t care about the patient’s schedule.
When Webb received the call in April 2016, that she had breast cancer, she and a friend were driving to her son’s golf tournament. Her cancer was detected by her yearly mammogram by Dr. Kelly Cole at Northeastern Health System.
“The first words that came out of my mouth were, ‘What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?”
What followed were many tears, medical procedures and prayers.
“I had a lumpectomy five days before my youngest son’s high school graduation,” said Webb. “Cancer doesn’t care what your plans are! The margins weren’t clear so one week later I had another surgery. I then had four months of chemotherapy followed by 37 radiation treatments.”
Webb’s niece, Dr. Tara Wilson performed her surgery. She then underwent Chemo with Dr. Leslie Walker and radiation with the late Dr. Daniel Murphy at NHS. Like most cancer patients, Webb created a close bond with her medical team.
“Daniel Murphy was a dear friend of mine for years. I never thought my friend or my niece would be providing care of my medical needs,” said Webb. “My treatments at NHS were amazing. Of course, Daniel called me routinely to check on me! Brent and Kristen actually administered my radiation treatments. One Monday I was having a really, really bad day. Brent walks in and says ‘Well, how was your weekend?’ I asked him if he wanted the truth. He said ‘Absolutely!’ I was comforted by Brent and Kristen with hugs and assurance. I cried during my entire treatment that day. They will never know how much letting me ‘feel’ my cancer illness that day meant to me.”
The kindness and support of strangers made a huge impact on Webb.
“I learned that ‘Pink Sister’ is a real thing,” said Webb. “There’s something uniting about talking to someone who has been through the same thing. There’s always an emotional connection.”
For many cancer survivors, being so incredibly sick and close to death results in a change in the person. Life becomes more precious and patients gain a greater appreciation for family, friends and faith.
“I had more prayers with total strangers than I ever had in my life. Cancer changed me. I’ll never be the same. It took a year of my life I’ll never get back,” said Webb. “The day after surgery my husband went back to work. I sat down on the couch and from out of the blue came the tears. I sobbed and sobbed. I couldn’t understand why I was crying because I knew I was going to be ok. I knew God was in control and I knew I had the best team ever. But the tears continued to come,” said Webb. “All of a sudden the phone rang and it was Daniel Murphy. I said to him, ‘Oh Daniel, how did you know I was having a meltdown?’ He responded, ‘I didn’t. I just knew I needed to check on you.’ I told him that I had been crying and crying and couldn’t figure out why. He reminded me of the shortest verse in the Bible, ‘Jesus wept.’ He said, ‘Jackie you have to get it out or it will come out eventually in ways you don’t want.’ We continued to visit and all of a sudden I realized that I truly had been handpick to have this journey. I knew someone would gain strength from my story and hopefully touch others that this is a journey we take together and we will get through this. We are simply changing lanes in our journey.”
The ordeal also brought the Webb family closer to one another and closer to God.
“My family was definitely drawn closer to each other,” said Webb. “We had many, many, spiritual moments which grew us closer to God. He sustains us all today! I don’t know how anyone can get through the cancer fight without either.”
Detecting cancer early provides the best chance of survival, still, many women skip their yearly mammogram. Northeastern Health System’s Women’s Center provides a private and comfortable experience for patients by an experienced and friendly staff. To schedule a mammogram, call (918) 772-4588.