Deanna Proctor



My journey began 8 years ago. I had recently transferred Charter Schools, and I didn’t feel like myself. I found myself sitting behind my desk while taking numerous Tylenol. The top of my back hurt me continuously. I decided to go to the ER one day after work. The nurse thought I said I was having chest pains, instead of breast pain. As a result of the ER visit, I was told to make an appointment with the breast center for a mammogram. Well, it was my first mammogram, and I didn’t know what to experience. As a result of the mammogram, I was scheduled for a biopsy. I received the phone call from the result of my biopsy at work. It was truly devastating to hear that I had cancer. My first thought was how will I tell my daughter. She was in her first year in college with a full scholarship. Things progressed fairly quickly. I met my team of doctors, and the process of chemotherapy began. I took an experimental chemo, Advastin. My hair fell out, my fingernails and toe nails turned colors, my tongue turned black, my teeth were very sensitive, and I had to go in for shots to boost my blood count. My parents didn’t want me to go to work while I was taking chemo, so I went on sick leave from October until June. I had an awesome support system; however, my daughter took my illness very hard. Her grades fell which caused her to lose her scholarship. My main concern was getting better to return to work, and for my daughter. Since my diagnosis, I’ve met a lot of wonderful survivors and people throughout my journey. I did develop lymphedema, and I have to wear a compression sleeve and glove daily. I thank God daily for healing and keeping me here to encourage others. This past May, my daughter and I graduated together. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and I received a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.