The day after Labor Day 2009, Juvon Wilson learned she had two rare types of cancer in her right breast. It was stage III, and because of family history, doctors recommended a mastectomy of both breasts.
Juvon says hearing the diagnosis took her to “a place that I could now feel what my mom had been through. It was a feeling of disbelief. I thought I was reliving her life. Her cancer metastasized, and we lost her Thanksgiving 1985. But that was her journey. This is mine. I felt I would be healed by God.”
Shortly after surgery, Juvon had a blood clot and was back in the hospital for more than three weeks. Her cancer treatment included chemotherapy, radiation and laparoscopic, prophylactic surgery to remove her ovaries.
Today, Juvon is in remission, but she doesn’t call herself a survivor. “I’m an overcomer of cancer because God took it.”
She has all her follow-up care at Harris Health. Reconstructive surgery at Ben Taub Hospital introduced her to “a phenomenal team of doctors. They care. Their bedside manner is awesome. They go above and beyond. I love that about them.” She loves her team at Smith Clinic because “they take time to listen.”
She especially appreciated the care and attentiveness because it was such a busy time for her. She was working on a criminal justice degree, and she was caring for a great-niece and two great-nephews (she’s in the process of adopting them). She’s also involved in her grown children’s lives.
“I had to push myself, but you can do it all. Don’t underestimate God’s power. Without God, I could not have gotten through this.”
Her advice to others is to fight. “You must have strength to get in the ring and fight. Always believe in yourself. When you do, you can encourage yourself. Walk with your head up high.”
Attending to her follow-up care, raising her adoptive children, finding a job in her new field and eyeing a master’s degree takes a lot of energy. She has it. “You have to push yourself to be where you need to be. I see great things to come. I can be what I choose to be.”