I'm proud of my son and my 2-0 record against breast cancer. I am Henry.
It's 1992. Loretta is waiting to check in for a routine mammogram. Even though she doesn't have any symptoms, she understands how important it is to follow through with regular appointments and exams. Unfortunately, she's told there's been a mix-up and she'll need to reschedule, but something compels her not to leave.
"I felt I had been guided to get a mammogram," explains Loretta.
She was able to keep the appointment, and doctors ended up finding something abnormal in her right breast. After a biopsy, Loretta was diagnosed with invasive stage 1 breast cancer.
Soon after, she had a lumpectomy and an axillary dissection to remove nearly 20 lymph nodes under her arm and prevent the spread of any undetected cancer. After the procedure, she received six weeks of daily radiation therapy through a linear accelerator that targeted her whole breast—not just the tumor bed.
In the end, Loretta's intuition, faith and trust in science helped her beat cancer. And 28 years later, she'd draw upon those qualities again.
Cut to March 2020. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the country, and Detroit is a hot spot. People are advised to postpone non-essential medical procedures and appointments, so Loretta decides to cancel her annual mammogram.
Later that year, she was in the middle of doing paperwork when the thought, "You need a mammogram," suddenly popped into her head. Just like in 1992, she had no symptoms, but decided she better seek the screening for which she was overdue. And just like 28 years before, the doctors detected something wrong. After a biopsy, she was diagnosed with stage 0 ductal carcinoma. This time, in her left breast.
Once again, Loretta trusts her instincts, resilience and the team at Henry Ford Cancer Institute to win the battle of her life—again. "I had faith and confidence I'd be alright. Henry Ford Health made it alright before, and I believed they could do it again. I told myself I would just walk through it."
Although Loretta's courage hadn't changed much in 28 years, cancer treatment had. "I'm amazed by the changes. The procedure is very efficient. It was fantastic to see how technology has advanced," she remarked.
She had surgery to remove the cancer, but since it wasn't invasive, her lymph nodes were left intact this time around. And her radiation used a new linear accelerator combined with an MRI-LINAC that precisely targets tumors and only lasted one week.
Loretta's unwavering will and faith helped her find her inner-Henry—and beat cancer twice. "You've already weathered other hard times—you can weather them again,” she says. “Keep doing your best, and it's going to be alright."