by Elaine

My name is Ra-Verna Bass and I am a 10 year Breast Cancer Survivor.
I had just had a regular exam by my doctor about 2 or 3 months prior, when my doctor ask me if I do regular monthly breast exams, I responded yes, she preceded to ask me a few more questions and then said well from the looks of things you are a highly unlikely candidate for breast cancer, it doesn’t appear to be in the family, you started your periods at a nice regular age, and you were a breast feeder which puts you at a very unlikely category for getting breast cancer, so I really don’t think you need to check as often as you do, so from that I felt I didn’t need to check my breast really at all., but…

10 years ago on the 14th  day of February 2004,  about 5am I was turning over when my hand landed on my right breast, and I felt this big lump, I laid there for a min. and felt around for a few minutes, and realized I had felt what I thought was a lump in my breast. I waited around for a couple of hours, then called Kaiser telling them I believe I may have found a lump in my breast and ask them what I needed to do to set up an appointment, she told me they were backed up for about 3 months, then ask what my age was I told her 45, she put me on hold for about a min. then came back  and ask “can you come in today about  10:00am”, I said yes, and called my job to let them know I would not be in to work today.  She said “make sure you make it in because if you are late we will not be able to get you in for another 3 months”.

As I went in to the Doctors office she did a regular breast exam on me and said at first she couldn’t find anything, in my shock felt again, and the lump was still there, it was about the size of a golf ball, how could she miss it, so I told her what I felt, she checked  again and said ok I may feel a little something, but to be safe we are going to set you up for a Mammogram, she gave me a note and said this will help them get you in today because they are booked out to 6 months, so I went and had my mammogram, after which the nurse came back in with a fearful look on her face, so I ask her what was wrong….She said oh nothing we just want to do a little further testing to be sure of what we think we see, but I’ll just let the doctor talk to you, doctor came in with a look of horror look on his face and said “well I’m going to have a Biopsy done right away, but everything looks good, mind you these procedures usually take a few months to schedule, and you do not get the results right away either”, but all of mine were done in one day! (The Favor of God)

The very next day I was sitting at my desk when the doctor called my private line at work and said ”well Ms. Bass I have good news and bad news , which do you want first the good news or the bad”, I said the bad news then you can make me feel better with the good news…. “Well truth is I actually don’t have any good news, but I have the results of your test, I’m sorry but the results show you are positive for Cancer, and the truth of the matter is the news doesn’t get any better for you because the type of Cancer you have is one that we do not know anything about….do you have a pencil and paper so I tell you the name of it….What you have is called Metaplastic Carcinoma and it’s a fast moving blood disease is all I can tell you!

Of course I was in shock….. my co-worker who herself had just been told her Breast Cancer had returned and was dealing with her Cancer came in and ask me what was up, I explained to her what happened, she took the name of the Cancer and looked it up on the internet, she came back in crying and said Ra-Verna Go home….go home now, I ask her what she found, and she said “ I don’t even want to tell you what I found, don’t look at it just go home, she hugged me and left the room, though she didn’t want to tell me about what she found, she had printed it and forgot she left it on the printer, I pulled it off the printer and read it… threw me into more of a shock if that is possible.  They only had record of 3 people who had that same type of cancer two of them were dead and the other they lost contact with, so they had no more information on that type of disease, I was just standing at my desk then started walking in circles, then called my mother, told her the news…. I do not even remember going to my car or how I ended up at my Sister Wonda’s house, and at some time I guess I called my cousin Frances, I do remember calling my Ex-husband who made me cry because he began to scream and cry having a break down telling me I better not die he needed me to live for Kendra, my daughter, and she needed me to live.

Of course I’m crying and in shock I ask Wonda to take me to the hospital to see if I could get any information, she did, but I was running into brick walls, so I decided to call the advice line……It was then that I was brought to reality and where God needed me to be… The advice nurse said no one will be able to assist you until tomorrow because everyone has gone home for the day, but I can set up some appointments for you, after she set up my appointments, she said I sure hate to leave you like this, she then said “DO YOU KNOW THE LORD?” I said  yes, yes I do, remembering, she said “O well then girl you are going to be fine, do you know that this is Gods time to step in SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT”?

She said I normally don’t ask this but can I pray for you and I said yes, she prayed and said “God said you are going to be fine. Wonda and Frances realizing what was going on, and I explained to them what was happening, they hugged me and said, Girl that was nothing but God, you are going to be fine….. From that day forward I was fine, I just began to trust in the Lord.

So I went in for my appoints and followed the procedures, got set up for the surgery, though they said it was an unusual blood disease, the doctor was surprised to find out how far along I was, and that the Cancer was not found in my Lymph nodes. (I was in my fourth stage) She said I was lucky that it was found in my breast so it made it operable, and able to be treated, but I know it is not luck at all it is the blessings of my God.

She gave me the option of having my breast removed or to just have a lumpectomy, but told me the healing results she has found would be the same, so I opted to keep my breast and just have the Cancer surgically removed from my breast. Following that I would have to go through extensive treatments of Chemo Therapy, after that, then Radiation treatments.

During the time I went through the Chemo Therapy I lost all of my hair and had a few other problems one of which is still with me today, I lost my fingernails and they have not returned yet. Then I went through 6 weeks of Radiation treatments, I was very hard for me as my skin burned very badly to the point of open boils on my skin, scratch marks from where I would itch and scratch, the end results my skin is a little hard in areas and permanently blackened and permanent scars of which I call “my battle scars”, because I am a Survivor, and today I can testify that I am and have been Cancer free since that day! God bless you.


About elaine
RaVerna’s Survivor Story