November 21, 2016

Shelia R. Miller | Breast cancer survivor

“I’ve been having my mammograms at UAMS for the past four or five years. All of my doctors are at UAMS, including my primary care doctor and my eye doctor. When they pull my information up on the computer, they know everything about my medical history.

Before I came for my mammogram in 2015, I had an injury to my breast. It was always sore, so I thought the tissue was swollen. When I had the mammogram, they told me it looked like I needed to have a biopsy. They did it on the same day, and that’s when they were sure it was cancer. That was March 6, 2015. On April 4, I started my chemo with Dr. Makhoul, and on Oct. 1 Dr. Henry-Tillman removed my cancer. After that, I had reconstruction with Dr. Wolter. It was over a yearlong process.

Telling my family I had cancer was the tough part. At the same time this was going on, my father was very ill. We had to put him in the nursing home. I never wanted to put my mom or my daddy in a nursing home, but I didn’t have another choice.

My father turned 93 on April 18, and he died April 19. I was glad he didn’t see me bald headed.

When I had surgery, my family was all there. My sisters from Chicago and California and my cousin came when I had surgery. A couple of my nephews I wasn’t expecting were here too. My sisters and my cousin stayed a month to take care of me after surgeon. They also came back when I had my last surgery.

When you go through hard time, you’ve got to be positive. This past October, a group of women in Pine Bluff did the Race for the Cure. They had a banquet before the race with more than 100 women there. I was one of the keynote speakers. I told them my story about how I came through the valley. We all have those valleys, but we have to stay positive. You never know what’s coming.

When the doctor was doing my biopsy he kept asking if I was alright. I told him I was fine and it was out of his hands. Whatever God had planned, was the plan for me. He was going to be my strength.”

Shelia R. Miller
Breast cancer survivor
White Hall, Ark.