Kimberly Davis had not been in the habit of getting regular mammograms, but after noticing a sunken area under her right arm, she asked her primary care physician about it.
The doctor thought it could be a swollen lymph node and prescribed antibiotics, Davis said, but also ordered a mammogram.
On Oct. 10, 2018, Davis said she received a diagnosis of invasive ductile carcinoma, Stage 2.
Davis, now 46, has lived in Jackson for 15 years, and along with operating a home child care center has raised six sons. Two of them, ages 15 and 16, are still at home with her.
To treat her cancer, Davis underwent a mastectomy aimed at removing three masses. Doctors also removed 24 lymph nodes, 22 of which she said were cancerous.
Last December, she had a port placed for chemotherapy.
And while she was originally scheduled for eight rounds of chemotherapy, Davis began experiencing leg and stomach pain that led her oncologist to send her for CT and bone scans in January of this year.
“Come to find out, the cancer had spread to my stomach and my bones,” Davis said, adding a mass the size of a grapefruit was found in her stomach.
Because the cancer had spread, Davis said, she was considered a Stage 4 patient.
“I have to be on treatment for the rest of my life,” she said.
She said her family and her faith are helping her cope with the diagnosis. Davis no longer works, but joins daily morning prayer at her church, Gospel of Christ Miracle Revival Fellowship in Jackson, unless she has a conflicting doctor’s appointment.
“If it had not been for the fact that I know the lord, I probably would have given up a long time ago,” she said.
She said her teenage sons motivate her as well.
“I have to continue to fight for them,” she said. “I have days where I feel like I can do stuff, and days I feel like I can’t get out of bed in the morning.”
While no longer taking chemotherapy through a port, Davis said she does receive oral chemotherapy and injections every two weeks to try to keep the cancer from spreading further. She also undergoes CT and bone scans every three months to monitor the spread of the disease.
“I do believe, when I first got diagnosed and I was praying, the spirit spoke and God was going to heal me, and I do believe that,” Davis said. “... Until then, I just keep the faith and continue the fight.”