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How a Local Survivor Beat Breast Cancer Twice

Conyers, Ga., (Oct. 20 2020) – Working at the registration desk in the Breast Imaging Center at Piedmont Rockdale Hospital, Sabrina Holmes gets to wear a lot of pink scrub tops. As a two-time breast cancer survivor herself, Sabrina wears those pink scrub tops to celebrate life and inspire hope.

“I am a two-time survivor, my sister is a survivor, and my aunt is a two-time survivor”, said Holmes. “I have other family members that have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a disease I am all too familiar with.”

Holmes was first diagnosed in March 2016 after an abnormal spot was found in her left breast during her annual screening mammogram. A biopsy determined that Holmes had stage zero ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and she underwent a single mastectomy. Holmes was relieved and grateful; the cancer was found early and her treatment relatively easy with the exception of recovering from surgery.

Holmes settled back into her normal routine until, almost a year later in March 2017, she felt something hard and painful in her chest.  

“I was experiencing a sharp pain and there was a spot that felt like a rock,” said Holmes. “I talked to the doctor in the mammography department and he suggested I talk to my primary care physician right away.”

Holmes had a breast ultrasound and a biopsy on her left breast, the same breast she had had removed a year prior. Almost one year to the day she had first been diagnosed with breast cancer, Holmes received the news that the cancer was back. It was stage one but had not metastasized.

“This time, the cancer was more invasive,” said Holmes. “So, the treatment was more invasive, too. I underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and another surgery during which I decided to also have my right breast removed.”

Throughout the course of diagnosis and treatment, Holmes was determined to remain positive. She said that keeping her stress levels down was helpful in staying positive. Above all, her complete faith in God kept her moving forward and using her journey to help others.

“I’m grateful because my cancers were found early,” said Holmes. “And, I am thankful that I can share my story because not everyone gets to share their story.” 

Holmes hopes that she can help others going through cancer and has started a cancer care ministry at her church. She also offers advice to women reminding them to get an annual mammogram and do your monthly breast exams.

“Know your body,” said Holmes when asked what advice she would give to others. “Your body will tell you what’s wrong. When you see a doctor, ask questions. And, if you are diagnosed with breast cancer or any cancer, join a good support group. It is amazing the strength we get from others.”

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