Breast Cancer Survivor - Jo Ann Timberlake Story

Uploaded by nbcf91 on 01.10.2010

Because of NBCF's early detection plan, I stopped breast cancer. I'm Jo Ann
Timberlake. I'm the Controller at National Breast Cancer Foundation. I've
worked for NBCF for about three and a half years. During the time I've
worked at NBCF, I've discovered that I have breast cancer.
I was embarrassed that I had not gotten my mammogram on a timely basis,
because of where I was working. I was working for National Breast Cancer
Foundation. I had heard lots of stories of women and their breast cancer
experiences. I have cousins and aunts who have had breast cancer. I knew
that this was important, and yet I had let it slip because I was busy,
because it's not my favorite thing to do. It was time to go get a mammogram
When National Breast Cancer Foundation first created the program, the early
detection plan, they gave it to some of the employees to test as a beta. As
I was filling out the information, I realized I was late getting a
mammogram. More or less embarrassed, I called the doctor to set up an
appointment, because I had committed when I came to work at NBCF to no
longer put off my mammograms for three or four or five years as I had done
in the past.
When I got my mammogram, they called me back for a second mammogram, which
didn't worry me much, because I'd been called back for second mammograms
before and it never was anything of an issue. This time it was.
They called me at work on a Friday afternoon and told me that I had breast
cancer. Suggested I call my personal physician and set up an appointment,
find an oncologist and set up an appointment.
An early detection plan is a reminder system based on the three methods of
breast cancer early detection: Breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, and
annual mammograms.
The day that the doctor's office called and told me that I had a
malignancy, I felt kicked in the stomach. I was in my office alone, talking
to someone on the telephone, whom I had never met. It was an isolated,
lonely feeling.
Then as I started sharing, I didn't know exactly what to share because I
didn't know enough about what they had told me. Basically, they just said,
"We found a malignancy. You need to call your primary care giver. You need
to make an appointment with an oncologist." It was a very isolated feeling.
As we as a family adjusted to the fact that I had breast cancer, my family
rallied around me and supported me. Bob went to all the doctor's
appointments with me. After the surgery, when I came home, my daughter had
decorated the house and had flowers for me and also talked to me about the
fact that she needs to be especially aware of her own health. That was a
very supportive thing for me to hear.
I'm two years past the diagnosis. I've completed all my treatment, except
for a pill that I take daily, and I am cancer free.
I have high confidence in the early detection plan. It's doing a service to
me, to help keep me on track to remain cancer free.
I would advise all the women out there to sign up for the early detection
plan, to get the reminders to help you stay on schedule, and to find out
more about breast cancer and what your family risks are.
NBCF's early detection plan saved my life, and it's continuing to save my