Both mother and son are breast cancer survivors
By BRENDA HARRISON Editor of The Hartsville News Journal Hartsville, S.C.
Willie Jane White and her son Tory White share a similar journey. Both are survivors of breast cancer. At the age of 60, Mrs. White was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two years later, Tory, then 39, got the same diagnosis. Both cancers were in the right breast and in about the same spot.
It was November of 2011 when Willie Jane felt pain in her left breast while getting ready for church. She mentioned it to a friend at church who was a nurse and was advised to get a mammogram. Willie Jane was diligent in performing self exams and having regular mammograms.
Although it wasn’t yet time for her yearly exam, she scheduled one and a cancerous tumor was found. It was in a location that she would not have found through self exams, she was told. Everything moved fast, she remembered. She was sent to Dr. Pavy who scheduled a lumpectomy with Dr. Sonfield and just two weeks after her diagnosis she was in surgery. But a week later, her post op exam revealed some cancer remained and she went back for another surgery.
Thirty-two treatments of radiation followed and she has been cancer free for eight years. Mrs. White suspected it was cancer when she was called back for a consult after her mammogram, so she asked her husband Ernest C. White to go with her. “I prayed about it, but I knew God has got this,” she said. “I believe whatever the situation, God will take care of us.”
Willie Jane was encouraged by her favorite scripture, Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Tory’s lump was discovered by his wife Carmen when she felt a knot on his chest during an embrace. He soon visited his doctor who recommended that he get a mammogram. Two days after the exam, he received a call from his doctor saying it was cancer.
Two weeks later, the same surgeon, Dr. Sonfield, performed a mastectomy on Tory’s right breast. After removing the breast, he was clear without any further treatment. Like his mother, Tory has a strong faith that helped him deal with this disease, as well his heart problems. “I just know whatever it is, the Lord will take care of me,” he explained.
Knowing that cancer has taken a rise in the male population as well as the female, Tory encourages men with mothers or sisters who have been diagnosed to get mammograms. As he knows from experience, it can be hereditary. In fact, men now have their own ribbon, a blue one, for breast cancer, he commented.
Mrs. White and her husband, are owners of C&W Shoes & Etc., located at the Florence Mall. Tory, is taking a semester break, as a seminary student at Erskine Theological Seminary’s Columbia campus. He and his wife are involved in helping the underprivileged and homeless. They are all members of Majority Missionary Baptist Church.