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Breast Cancer: Fighter Janelle Moffit


Advances to cancer research has made it easier than ever for women with a family history of breast cancer to get preventative care early. For Janelle Moffitt, who has a family history going back to her mom, grandma and great aunt, when the opportunity to get the BRCA testing arose, she jumped on it.

“My aunt passed away a few years ago-she had breast cancer. My grandmother was a survivor of breast cancer and lived many years after. My great grandmother had breast cancer and many other people in our family-cousins down the line,” shared Moffitt.

“Knowing that, I went in for the genetic testing several years ago. I was negative for that. But just because you test negative doesn’t meant that you aren’t at risk. It could mean that there is something genetic, they just haven’t figure out what that might be,” explained Moffitt. “If you know there is a history it’s so important to go get scanned and your doctor can prompt the screenings every six months.”

Because of Moffitt’s awareness of her family history and focus on her health, she was having routine MRI’s and Mammograms every six months to watch and catch any signs of breast cancer early should it appear.

It was in August of 2021 that one of her regular mammograms showed what 43-year old Janelle Moffitt had feared. And in a blink her life was forever changed-Moffitt was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. “I was scared,” reflect Moffitt. “I found out by seeing my results come back on MyMercy.”

After receiving her diagnosis in Springfield, Moffitt headed to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas where her diagnosis was upgraded to Stage 2. Moffitt would then spend the next 11 and a half months in Texas undergoing treatment and fighting to beat breast cancer.

The first step in her treatment was to undergo a double mastectomy followed by chemo, radiation, ovarian removal and is currently working through a two year oral chemo treatment.

“My husband and kids have been phenomenal. My mom and my sisters…there are times that they were there for me when I didn’t know what I needed,” Moffitt expressed while fighting back tears. “I can’t imagine going through it without them…people always say ‘don’t hesitate to reach out for help, let me know what I can help with’ and they have the most sincere intentions and desire to help-but you don’t know what to ask for.”

Over the last 14 months Moffitt and her family have been through a roller coast of emotions.

“It can’t be summed up in a few words. It’s a range of emotions. You go from scared to being strong, saying ‘I’m going to beat this, I’m going to get through it.’…it’s a roller coaster,” reflected Moffitt. “Trying to be strong for one another but knowing the reality that lies ahead…then pure exhaustion settles in.”

While Moffitt has been battling breast cancer, she has also been talking to her 17-year old daughter and her doctors to help her be knowledgeable in what she should do as she grows older. “She will need to have her first mammogram ten years earlier than when I got my diagnosis, so when she is 33 she will need her first mammogram,” explained Moffitt.

The doctors have told Moffitt they believe she is now cancer free now that she has had chemo and radiation. However, she is still waiting on a bone scan to confirm-which cannot be done for another month or more.

For now, Moffitt is focusing on living and sharing her story while offering support through her Facebook group: Janelle’s Journey.

“My Facebook group has, unintentionally, turned into more of an educational forum-talking about the realities of breast cancer because there is so much that isn’t talked about,” shared Moffitt. “There are just things going through this where I thought ‘man I wish someone would have told me about this’.”

“It changes your life and it changes the life of the people around you. It makes you see things differently,” shared Moffitt. “It changes your goals and the things you find important. Things that were bothersome before or trivial, are not important now…but on the same token there are things that are even more important now-like spending time with family and cherishing every moment.”


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