Making a difference in someone’s life can truly go a long way. In fact, when it comes to our health, sometimes we could all use a little help from others. Breast cancer survivor Jamil Rivers has impacted other women’s lives in a huge way.
Years ago, the working mom of three received the daunting diagnosis that she’d developed Metastatic breast cancer. Research indicates that Black women like Rivers are at a “40% higher risk of developing Breast cancer than white women.” With the healthcare system being rigged, many Black Women don’t receive the proper treatment or resources they need to sustain a healthy life.
Unfortunately, Rivers has seen cancer up close and personal, after watching her husband’s battle with cancer. Though, her personal experience proved useful in helping her ask the right questions at doctor’s visits and receive the proper treatment she needed. Additionally, being well-versed in oncology care led Rivers to help other women advocate for themselves.
This Is No Ordinary Common Cold
Like any cough, we immediately think to ourselves that we’ve caught a common cold. Most people will say they’re not a fan of being sick in bed all day.
Unfortunately, Jamil Rivers didn’t have a choice in the matter. The mysterious presence of a “cold” seemingly ran through her whole family. First her, then her husband, and then their three children. However, Rivers soon discovered that she didn’t just have a common cold. Instead, her prognosis was much worse.
The 44-year-old spent days being in and out of doctor’s offices and taking antibiotics that didn’t work. It wasn’t until a trip to her cardiologist, that she found her liver covered in lesions.
Prior to the visit, she recalled her OB/GYN informing her that her breasts had undergone small changes. The doctor assured her she had nothing to worry about. Turns out she received bad advice. The tests that followed shortly after her trip to the cardiologist seemed to confirm Rivers’ fears; she had metastatic breast cancer. Her life was turned upside down.
Jamil Rivers Demands Answers From Her Doctor
“She was treated upfront with chemotherapy because her liver function was abnormal. The cancer had completely infiltrated her liver,” according to Dr. Hayley Knollman, an oncologist at Penn Medicine’s Rena Rowan Breast Center in the Abramson Cancer Center, who treated Rivers after the diagnosis.
Knollman expressed how impressed she’d been by Rivers’ knowledge of breast cancer and her willingness to learn more. From day one, Rivers wanted to know how they were going to treat her chronic disease.
The first plan of attack was chemotherapy. For the next 10 months, Rivers was in and out of sessions. Though Rivers found