On September 17, 2013, a day after her 37th birthday, Jamie went in for her first mammogram to ease her mind about a small lump she had found next to her right breast. Her mother had a history of benign tumors, so she thought this would be the worst case scenario since there is no history of breast cancer in her family. However, following the mammogram, the doctor was concerned enough to immediately perform an ultrasound and biopsy. Jamie's world was turned upside down the next day when the doctor called with heartbreaking news that she did indeed have cancer. She was diagnosed with stage III triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form that only occurs in 15-20% of all breast cancer cases. In just the past month, Jamie has endured three mammograms, several ultrasounds, three biopsies, two MRIs, numerous blood tests, an echocardiogram, a PET scan and the surgical placement of a port for her chemotherapy injections.
It has been an emotional and whirlwind of a month for Jamie and her family. But also a time that Jamie calls humbling and full of faith and love. Jamie has vowed to remain strong and courageous through her journey with cancer. Her three children, ages 5, 7 and 14, are her greatest motivation. Her husband is her rock. And her friends and family have been her support system, offering encouragement every step of the way. Jamie has found giving to others helps her to cope with her own fears. This past week, she cut her long hair to donate to Locks of Love. Also, with the help of good friends, she will participate in the Susan G. Koman Race for a Cure this coming weekend. She hopes to be an inspiration and offer guidance in the future for those battling the same fight.
Jamie is scheduled to soon begin chemotherapy, which will continue for five months. Following chemotherapy, she will undergo a mastectomy and radiation treatment. Just as Jamie was set to begin her chemo treatment this past week, the PET scan found an area of concern on her left ovary. An ultrasound detected two masses. Now once again, Jamie must wait for the results of yet another biopsy. She has a long road of recovery ahead of her. She is determined to use this time to refocus on what is truly important in life and to seek the silver lining in this dark cloud. Jamie fully intends to keep laughing and enjoy life during this time. She strongly believes that laughter is the best medicine.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Though Jamie asks for nothing more than love, prayers and support during this time; the tests and treatments necessary for cure will create an enormous financial burden on Jamie and her family. Jamie's husband recently opened his own business. It is their dream for this business to succeed and have made short-term financial sacrifices in order to succeed in the future. With that, Jamie is the primary source of income for the family right now. During treatment and recovery, Jamie will be forced to reduce her hours at work; therefore will have a reduction in her income. Unfortunately, cancer is not considerate of times of financial hardship and simply does not care about bad timing. Please find it in your heart to make a donation to help out the Duque Family during Jamie's fight with cancer.
Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.