Rankin County woman shares her battle with breast cancer with the Pine Belt
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Leaning on Christ and family is two important things needed to beat the battle with breast cancer according to Latricia Ratcliffe.
“God is our strength in our time of weakness. You can walk through things you never thought you could or would have to when you’ve got the Lord helping you,” says Latricia.
Latricia is describing her source of strength during her battle with breast cancer. She shares how her journey started after a routine check-up back in 2005.
“We were getting ready to have a birthday party for my son, and I was in the shower and did a self-breast exam and felt something that I had not felt before,” says Latricia.
Two days following her discovery, Hurricane Katrina made landfall delaying a trip to her doctor. Latricia was working as a nurse and knew time was a priority for a possible diagnosis.
“I was, at this time, 33. I had never had a mammogram, and so this was a new experience for me,” Latricia says. “When I finished with the mammogram. They wanted to do an ultrasound, because, while you could feel the lump, you could not see the lump on the mammogram, after many tries. So, we did an ultrasound, and you could not, although you could feel the lump.”
Latricia says her mammogram scored a category 4, which is defined as a suspicious finding.
Following her diagnosis, Latricia was told by her radiologist she would need a biopsy. When the Biopsy came back, That’s when she received the phone call.
“I got a phone call that said it was positive for breast cancer and that we would not be able to save the breast,” says Latricia.
Latricia told her breast cancer surgeon she wanted a double mastectomy to avoid having to go through cancer again.
Following her surgery, Latricia underwent chemotherapy and radiation.
Latricia says it’s important to have a strong support system.
“They help to provide strength for you when you don’t think you have any yourself,” says Latricia. “The Bible says that God is our strength in our time of weakness. I think sometimes he uses our family and our support system to get us to the point where we are strong.”
Latricia says you have to be an advocate for your own health. She says self-breast exams and breast exams are a great way to stay ahead of cancer.
As of September, Latricia is 16 years cancer-free.
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