Life can be unpredictable – one Durham woman found that out the hard way when a cancer diagnosis derailed her plans.
When Regina Jones now looks at her 2-year-old twin girls, she can’t help but worry.
“I start thinking about my girls and when do I get them tested and how early,” Regina said. “And the doctor’s like, ‘Regina, you’re fine’.”
At 44 Jones is doing fine, but she was not always.
“Everyone thinks that once your hair grows back and you look normal from the outside that everything’s alright,” Jones said.
Her breast cancer has been at bay for seven years.
“It’s always in the back of your mind,” said Jones.
Back in 2011, Regina was busy planning her wedding, but a diagnosis of a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer threw a wrench in her plans.
“I was just really like ‘I’m only 36’,” said Jones.
So, they rushed the wedding ceremony.
“Basically a shotgun wedding,” said Tauvaris Jones, Regina’s husband. “We called them on April 1 which I think was a Friday and said we’re getting married on Sunday.”
Less than two weeks later, Regina found herself at UNC Cancer Hospital on the table for her first surgery, a mastectomy.
Five more surgeries followed, as well as chemo and radiation.
“I couldn’t button up my shirt,” Regina said. “I couldn’t put my own clothes on because it was damaging the nerves in my hands and my feet.”
Her husband Tauvaris was by her side every step of the way.
“I was able to go to every appointment, every chemo session, every everything from beginning to end,” Tauvaris Jones said.
Once she won her battle with breast cancer, Regina Jones could only think about one thing: how badly she wanted to start a family.
“I had a hormone-positive tumor,” said Regina. “I just wanted to make sure that I’d be here for them afterwards.”
When the Jones’ aren’t chasing after their twin girls, they’re volunteering at the UNC Cancer Hospital and the American Cancer Society.
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in North Hills raised more than $160,000 for breast cancer research. CBS 17 was the media sponsor.