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The Journey of My Life

Dr. Jackie explains how her diagnosis has lead to her "Mother Teresa-like" life.

By Jacqueline Walters

This week the viewers are able to witness something that is very near and dear to my heart. In 2004, I found myself on the opposite end of the diagnosis. My colleague informed me I had breast cancer and would have to have a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. Four years later, I had to hear those words again "breast cancer," and I had to undergo a double mastectomy. The breast cancer diagnosis would change my life forever.

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I know that there are some viewer and even cast members that think I am a "prude."  That's just not true; I love to have fun. I had no family history of breast cancer so how did it choose me? That will always be an unanswered question. I am determined to live everyday healthy to keep my diagnosis in the past and not present. I don't drink alcohol, smoke, or overindulge in fatty foods. Not because I'm "Mother Teresa-like," but because that increases my chances of reoccurrence.

I had amazing support during this difficult time. Dr. Simone was a part of the support group. She went to appointments with me and consoled me as I cried uncontrollably. She has been a true friend. Simone and I laughed and cried together. Doctors do have emotions!

For several years, I have supported a local organization "It's the Journey." It's The Journey, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization that raises funds and awareness for the state Georgia. There is an annual two-day walk in October, and I participated in their anniversary ceremony. Kari, Mariah, Quad, Simone, and Toya were sponsors of the walk last year. Mariah and Quad even participated in the walk. It was an incredible feeling to be among survivors and supporters. Simone was only attended the closing ceremony because she was on medical call.

Breast cancer can affect anyone; my medical degree did not exempt me.

And then there was my "50 Shades of Pink Breast Cancer Luncheon"! I sponsored a luncheon for fifty courageous survivors. Seeing the women strutting on the pink carpet. . .laughing and sharing their story, is a feeling I will never forget. In early 2013, I established the 50 Shades of Pink Foundation to treat the inner and outer beauty needs of breast cancer survivors.

I am glad that the viewers get to see why I choose to live this life. Sorry no drinking, smoking, fatty foods, or extra stress; my life may depend on it.

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