The first time Theresa Glisson found out she had cancer, in 1996, she was devastated.
The large lump in her left breast turned out to be in one of the highest stages of breast cancer.
“It was like the end of the world. I was scared. I didn’t know what to think,” she said.
After a mastectomy and eight months of chemotherapy, she chose not to have the recommended radiation.
Then, five years to the day after the first diagnosis, a routine mammogram detected a spot on her right breast.
“I wasn’t scared the second time, I guess because I went through it the first time,” she said.
Glisson said she was thankful for her husband, who was her rock while she went through treatment. Caring for her small children also helped keep her going.
“You have to find reasons to live,” she said. “I didn’t want anybody to pity me.”
The strength she found during her breast cancer fight served her when she lost her husband to a heart attack.
“I believe I can do anything now,” she said.
Now Glisson reaches out to others who face breast cancer to offer support.
“There are so many people out there that get cancer and don’t know where to turn,” she said. “I am grateful I had cancer because I’m able to help people who have cancer who can’t deal with it.”