Shes shining brighter after beating cancer
Last year, Sugar Land resident Sonia Byrd noticed an abnormality in one of her breasts. She immediately headed to her doctor, who promptly scheduled a mammogram. Despite this, Byrd wasn’t too worried. In her mid-30s, she wasn’t exactly the primary demographic for breast cancer.
“Since it was my first mammogram, they said I might need two in order to establish a baseline,” Byrd said. “My insurance wouldn’t cover two mammograms, so I waited until the next year for the second one.”
This past March, the now 38-year-old Byrd underwent her second mammogram, which revealed several lumps in not one, but both of her breasts.
A biopsy was performed, and Byrd said waiting for the results seemed to take forever.
Byrd was given her diagnosis on her lunch hour.
“I just went back into work, grabbed my stuff and left to go see my doctor,” she said. “My knees just buckled. I’m normally pretty happy-go-lucky, but it was extremely emotional for me.”
Byrd said her physician immediately referred her to MD Anderson Regional Care Center at St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital, where she met Dr. Susan Hoover, who would be seeing her for treatment.
On June 12, Byrd underwent a double mastectomy and lymph node removal. She went back to work a month later and had a reconstructive procedure in the following months.
Byrd says there were times when she depended on others to keep her going. Scared, Byrd managed to keep a positive outlook.
“The support that I had was not only from having an awesome medical crew, but from having a very supportive family and co-workers too,” she said.
Byrd said her co-workers donated their time at work because she did not have short-term disability insurance to cover her time off.
“God was looking out for me,” she said. “He put the right people in place to where I most definitely emerged from this shining brighter.”
Byrd is now cancer free, but credits her support system for her health and success with treatment. One individual who was particularly instrumental in her treatment was a friend and fellow cancer victim. He passed away, but Byrd said he imparted knowledge and help to her without direct words.
As for the future, Byrd said she plans on finishing her college degree.
To others battling breast cancer, Byrd offers a bit of advice: “Go with your gut and establish a good relationship with the people who are treating you. Believe that your best interest is their top priority.”
ABOUT SONIA BYRD
OCCUPATION: Marketing and administration
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Received cancer treatment at the MD Anderson Sugar Land Regional Care Center at St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital.
FAST FACT: After each doctor’s visit, Byrd would treat herself to a bowl of frozen yogurt at Berripop.