Gloria Vaughn always did breast self-exams and knew she had a lump in her breast for some time. She didn’t give it much thought because of her history of fibroid cysts. In 2005, when it started to grow, she had it checked out. A biopsy revealed that it was cancer.
“Because of my faith,” she says, “I wasn’t destroyed. I knew it was serious, but I have a serious God. I also have a very supportive husband and church family.”
Her oncologist at Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital laid out a plan of chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and radiation. But, side effects of the chemo caused the regimen to be cut short.
The healthcare environment is familiar to Gloria. She has a passion for patient care. A nurse’s aide at 17, she became an LVN and, later, an RN. She loved nursing and was disappointed when back problems forced her to retire.
“At LBJ, I had the best care anyone could have. I had the best doctors in the whole world. The staff was just awesome. They are caring people. I never saw a person with a bad attitude. I asked God to send me the best, and He did. The people there are in the right field. They are loving people with kind words.”
Gloria, who is also a diabetic, made some lifestyle changes. She drinks more water and has altered her diet. She eats more fruits, vegetables, chicken, salmon and lots of soups. She joined a gym and added walking to her activities.
What advice does she have for other patients? “First, have faith in God. Your faith will bring you through. Do your part. Work with the doctor’s plan. Change your diet to eat healthier and build your immune system. And exercise, even during the treatment. Most of all, live your life.”