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Breast cancer survivor discovers inner strength from health struggle

12 WOMEN WINNING THE FIGHT • BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH SERIES

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 2:58 PM
Last updated Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 5:45 PM
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The first time Theresa Glisson found out she had cancer, in 1996, she was devastated.

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Theresa Glisson was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 and again in 2011. She found the strength to overcome the illness.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Theresa Glisson was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 and again in 2011. She found the strength to overcome the illness.

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.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

SATURDAY

Mammograms: Georgia Regents Medical Center, 1120 15th St., first floor, Breast Health Center; women may schedule a routine mammogram beginning Oct. 5 or any other Saturday in October between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. by calling (706) 721-9729; www.grhealth.org/breasthealth

Sew Much Talent Sewing Workshop: 9:30a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; The Lydia Project, 1369 Interstate Parkway; learn how to sew totes given to women coping with cancer; bring a sewing machine.

OCT. 16

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Seminar - Options for Breast Reconstruction: 7 p.m.; The Lydia Project; 1369 Interstate Parkway, Augusta; Dr. Troy Austin, board-certified plastic surgeon; free seminar; (706) 434-8683.

ABOUT THERESA GLISSON

AGE: 51

HOMETOWN: Martinez

FAMILY: Daughter, Brittany; son, Joseph

OCCUPATION: Inventory control, Wal-Mart

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: 1995 – mastectomy and eight months of chemotherapy; 2000 – mastectomy

HER ADVICE: “Know that there is always hope. Never give up and trust in the Lord. He’s going to be right by your side. Know that there are people out there who’s been through it and are willing to talk. Never give up hope. Always believe in yourself, because you have to be a really strong person to face this.”


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