Sharing Our Stories

Support from Her Doctors and Her 3-Year-Old Son Give Jessica Hope in Her Battle with Breast Cancer

Jessica and her son, Mason.

Jessica and her son, Mason.

Her story is one built on support. Support from family, friends, co-workers and doctors has been the key to Jessica Rizzos’s cancer treatment.

Jessica, who is currently fighting invasive ductal breast cancer, knows it’s been this support system that has helped her remain positive even during the most trying of times.

As a single mother of 3-year-old Mason, Jessica initially faced her cancer treatment fearful of the future and what it would mean for her son.

“My biggest fear going in wasn’t the cancer, but the fear that I would not be able to hold my son when he was sick, or hurt, or sad,” Jessica says. “Being a mother, though, has made this whole journey easier because Mason drove me to be strong and live life as normal as possible.”

Today, if asked what her greatest support system has been – she answers without hesitation: Mason.

Her son has not only given her the drive to beat her cancer, but has become a source of comfort for her during her treatment in more ways than one could imagine.

“I was strong because of his love,” Jessica says. “He actually takes care of me. At just 3-and-a-half, he helps me make the bed, do dishes, and gets his own snacks and drinks. He holds me when I don’t feel well and kisses my port, which he calls my ‘ouchie’. He is my angel and has made this cancer seem like a walk in the park.”

Fortunately, for Jessica, her treatment has, so far, showed amazing results.

After her diagnosis, Jessica sought treatment at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, giving herself what she felt was the best hope for survival.

After meeting and evaluating Jessica, the Breast Cancer Team decided that a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and drug treatment would give her the best chance of recovery and remission.

When Jessica began her chemotherapy treatments at the JGBCC in January 2012, her tumor measured 7 centimeters by 10 centimeters, and the cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes. During her first round of chemo, she experienced tremendous progress; the tumor, at the end of her treatment, measured 1 centimeter by 2 centimeters.

Soon, Jessica will have surgery, followed by four months of radiation and a year of the drug Herceptin once every three weeks.

Jessica has a long way to go, but she knows that her support system, especially the love from her son, will see her through the duration this treatment.

Continue to follow Jessica’s story, and our other patient stories, over the coming week at myUofLHealthcare.org.

Comments (1)

  • Stephanie | July 20, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Jessica, I doubt you remember me from gym class…you kicked my behind at ping-pong. I am sorry to hear that this has happened to you, but I will keep you in my daily prayers!

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