Q&A with Jacqueline Juneau Milazzo
Jacqueline Juneau Milazzo, 49. Woman's Hospital, Registered Nurse. Married, 3 teenaged children.
How did you find out you had breast cancer?
My right breast had been extremely sore for three days, but I had passed it off as my fibrocystic condition flaring up. One night I began experiencing extreme pain with a lot of pressure in my right breast and slight soreness in my left. I was able to feel a large lump, slightly larger than a quarter. Two days later I had a mammogram at Woman’s, then an ultrasound and biopsy that same day.
What was your reaction?
I can remember sudden panic and my body went limp … It was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I don’t think anyone can be prepared to be told you have cancer. I questioned what had I done so wrong in my life to deserve this.
What treatment methods did you undergo?
My "C" journey plan included chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. I read a lot and inquired from other cancer survivors about their experiences. With my first and second chemo, I did suffer with mouth, gums and throat ulcers, making it hard to chew and swallow. My third chemo treatment was a breeze; my fourth, fifth and sixth treatments made me really sleepy … I did have to sometimes miss work, which was supported by my job and co-workers.
How has your illness affected your perspective on life?
I recommend sticking to a daily routine. I had to accept that I was now the patient and had to let others care for me … My faith in God was always strong, and it only became stronger.
Do you have any advice for others with breast cancer?
From the moment we enter this world, God has already planned our whole life. One of my wonderful patients reminded me of this. Affirm to yourself that you will survive. Keep positive and accept others’ help and support. Listen to others’ stories and journeys. Live out your bucket list. Make sure you and your loved ones have regular mammograms, perform self-exams and report any unusual findings. If you have concerns, go with your gut and call your doctor. It could save your life, it did mine.