Meet Jess Johnson

My name is Jess Johnson. I am a mother of 3 wonderful children Jordan, Cooper, Azalya and have 2 beautiful granddaughters. In January I went in for my fist mammogram. Going into this appointment I had not a worry in the world. I do not have a history of breast cancer on my mom’s side and knew little about my fathers side at the time. Within a few days I received a call; I needed to come back in. I was told not to worry with it being my first mammogram they had nothing to compare it to; that it was common for them to have women come back in. I went back in the following week for another mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy. Within a few weeks of that first mammogram the call came in informing me that I had invasive ductal carcinoma stage 1. I was completely shocked. So many emotions followed. Sitting my children down and giving them the news was something I never imagined having to do. At the time I didn’t have much information and didn’t know what my treatment options would be.

Over the next month there were tons of appointments, countless tests run, and a plethora of decisions to be made. After long discussions with my oncologist and the surgeon, I chose to do a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. We scheduled surgery for the end of March 2023. As a family we were trying to navigate the unknown and come to grips with my diagnosis when we were hit with another devastating blow- a month after my diagnosis my 25 yr old daughter was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma stage 2. Jordan is a young mother with 2 beautiful daughters. This news was a shock to everyone. How could this be? How could we both have breast cancer and her at such a young age? They rapidly ran the necessary test and we soon found out her cancer had moved into her lymph nodes. She would have to do 16 rounds of chemo before she herself would undergo a double mastectomy. I battled daily to avoid falling into that dark hole as I felt my whole world crashing. As a mother, I would have done anything to switch places with her. I knew I had to change my mindset not only for myself but for her as well.

My mastectomy was a success, they found a total of 9 tumors, and it wasn’t long after I was told I was cancer free. Our journey is not yet over, as cancer seems to be a gift that keeps on giving, sadly. I will have surgery again on September 7th to complete the reconstruction. I am currently on hormone therapy for the next 5 years. I will also undergo a hysterectomy hopefully before the end of the year. Jordan has completed 12 rounds of Taxol and 2 rounds of the Red Devil with 2 more to go. She’s looking forward to ringing the bell in August and is scheduled on September 11th for a double mastectomy. It’s been a roller coaster of a year for the two of us, but I’ve never been so thankful for our family, friends, and the support we both have received.