CLEVELAND, Texas – A family with a history of breast cancer, now celebrates both mom and daughter being cancer-free.
June will mark one year since Briana Roberts was diagnosed and for her mother Jean, May will make it two years.
In their Cleveland area home, the two sit down to remember what it was like to hear the diagnosis for the first time. What you can’t help but notice, is how alike they really are.
Both have an infectiously positive attitude, they attribute to faith. Both became nurses at Conroe Regional Medical Center, where Briana currently works. They also have a tendency to finish each other’s sentences.
Jean starts by telling me about the day she had an ultrasound and the look on the face of the nurse helping her.
“I saw her and we both knew. I just got up, told her I needed a minute, went to the corner and cried,” she said.
Still processing the information, knowing her own mother had died of breast cancer, Jean didn’t know what to think.
“You don’t get much sleep, because you lay awake thinking, am I really going to make this,” Jean said.
What she didn’t know is her motivation would come just one day later. The ever observant mother noticed Briana getting sick and that’s when it clicked. Briana was pregnant.
“We did the baby shower, I was sick, I was losing my hair, I was going through all these emotions and yet I had a new baby coming,” Jean said.
Baby Abbie was born in August of 2016 and just months later, Jean would finish her final treatment at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
With her mother thankfully in the clear, Briana began questioning her own health. She stopped by a doctor who told her she was too young to worry about cancer.
At first Briana was inclined to agree, I mean after all she was only 31 at the time.
Briana requested a second opinion, this time at the same facility as her mom and that’s when the same type of cancer was discovered.
“It was a shock. I thought, does this really happen,” Briana said.
So if you’re counting, that’s three women, three generations, all of whom battled breast cancer. Doctors would only later tell Briana, she may have carried the condition the same time she was carrying Abbie.
For women with so much in common, doctors say the cancer was not passed on genetically through the generations. In only about 10 percent of cancer cases does that actually occur, according to Breastcancer.org.
Doctors remain positive for Abbie, but Briana says she has already begun making changes to her daughter’s diet. As both parents will agree, there are many risk factors to cancer we can control.
“A little part of me cringes because I feel I’m just increasing her chances of getting this,” Briana said.
Jean and Briana will continue routine visits in June to check on the cancer cells, but they urge all women to consult multiple physicians before coming to a final diagnosis.