Pink Up: After multiple rounds of chemo and radiation, Celeste Brown beat breast cancer

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 10:40 AM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Experts say breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the United States. Although breast cancer can be deadly, many women armor up and defeat the battle daily.

“Don’t do it by yourself. Let people do it with you.” That’s the message Celeste Brown preaches to women. Women who have put on boxing gloves to fight a fight she once did in 2016.

“So, I was in the shower doing my normal self-exam when I felt a lump,” said Brown. “I thought it was just that time of the month or something. You know just how ladies and how our bodies are. They just change a lot,” Brown said.

Brown’s body was in fact changing. After another self-exam, she contacted her doctor with concerns, who then scheduled her a mammogram.

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“So, he called and said, ‘How you’re doing,’” said Brown. “He said I don’t know it depends on what you finna say. And he says, ‘Well it is breast cancer.’”

At that moment, pain and fear grew in Brown’s eyes as she automatically thought the worst.

“I remember the surgeon, he told me what my sub type was and was like, ‘Don’t go to Google,’” Brown said. “You’re going to think you’re dying. Don’t go to Google. And I went to Google, and then I thought I was going to die,” she said.

Although Brown’s diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer is deadly, it was not a death sentence for her.

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“So triple negative means that it doesn’t have the receptors of estrogen, progesterone or HER2 hormones. So, with triple-negative, they’re not completely sure of where it comes.”

After eight rounds of chemo and 33 rounds of radiation, Brown eventually created The Pink Lady Nonprofit to be a light to others walking in her shoes.

“So until you’ve had a lumpectomy surgery you don’t know how bad that hurts,” said Brown. “You don’t know how you can’t wear a bra with wires for a while. It’s just so many things you don’t know until someone who has been through it can say, ‘Hi, this is what you’re going to need,” Brown said.

Through The Pink Lady, Brown provides care packages for breast cancer patients with different kinds of support pillows, drain bag holders and more.

Brown said women should get an annual mammogram beginning in their early 40′s, although she was diagnosed at just 39. Brown said she believes it was self-exams that saved her life due to early detection.

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