Perrian Myles was 40 years old when she was first diagnosed with cancer in her left breast. Now she’s 65 and doesn’t appear to be slowing down, but that wasn’t always the case.
In 2008, when she was working two jobs, she again felt a hard lump in her left breast. She knew something was wrong. After a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy, she learned the cancer was back. She had a double mastectomy.
The cancer metastasized to her brain, liver and blood. Over a course of time, she had two surgeries and radiation therapy for the cancer in her brain; radiation to treat her liver; and chemotherapy for the cancer in her blood. Now the disease is contained in her blood stream, and she has only one spot on her liver.
Perrian’s primary caregiver is her daughter, Shani Todd. They make quite a team.
After the second brain surgery, Shani says, “I saw God’s miracles. She couldn’t talk or walk. She was helpless. She didn’t want physical therapy, and she still recovered the ability to walk and talk. Her only limitation is that she can’t drive.”
“It was God’s will,” Perrian says. She gives the credit to God, the power of prayer and the “excellent care” she received at Ben Taub Hospital and Smith Clinic.
“I like Harris Health because, they hire the right people to be nurses, doctors and caregivers. Everyone has a beautiful personality. It’s a blessing,” she says.
Shani agrees, “The doctors and everybody have been absolutely wonderful. When we started, the prognosis wasn’t good. Here we are 10 years later. I don’t think we would have had the same results anywhere else. The doctors have such energy. Their bedside manner is so good. They take time and are never in a rush. They really care.”
As a caregiver, Shani has insight for others who care for a loved one. “Anyone dealing with cancer needs a support group. And the support group needs a support group. It can become overwhelming. There is so much to consider – everything from transportation to treatments to home care.”
Perrian, her support group and her medical team are committed to keeping the cancer at bay. “My mother lived to be 93,” she says. “If God gives me to 80, I’ll be happy.”