WACO, TX — At age 31, Jayme Skinner was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stage 2 breast cancer.
She found the lump herself, and chose to get it checked by a doctor. When the results came back positive, she knew a hard uphill battle was about to begin.
"I was a prime example of it will never happen to me, I'm too young," Skinner said.
She chose to undergo a double mastectomy. She was worried that if she didn't get the double mastectomy, the cancer could spread to the other side. While worrying about that, she also wondered if having children was even a possibility after treatment.
"They were sending us home with shots to start the egg retrieval process," Jayme said. "They wanted to make sure we could have some eggs frozen, y'know that can be my fall back on if we cant do it naturally."
With the chemo, treatments and therapy, it can really impact a woman's reproductive system. Doctors put the reproductive system into a dormant state so hopefully it's not as impacted.
"I had what felt like menopause," Jayme said. "I made fun of my mom about her hot flashes, but they're no joke."
Even after all that, losing her hair was the hardest to overcome. She always had long beautiful dark hair, but she tried to look on the brighter side of things.
"I saved a lot of money on shampoo and conditioner, and I got ready for work a lot quicker in the morning so that was a plus," Jayme said.
The positive attitude really helped during the hardest moments of her life. She didn't quit working because she always wanted something to do.
"It's important to live as normal of a life as possible continue to go to work continue to see your friends," Medical Oncologist Dr. Tara Barnett said.
Dr. Barnett and Skinner became close friends. Skinner visited the hospital once a week, every three weeks for a year. When you see someone often like that it's easy to form a connection.
"Especially patients like Jayme where you see them every day you take care of them for years and years, they really do become like a family so it effects us just as much as it does them," Dr. Barnett said.
It also takes encouragement from friends and family. When Jayme lost her hair she was devastated but it took a friend's words to tell her to be brave.
"She was like I know you loved your hair and you miss it but you are so beautiful with your hair like that and so that was the first day I went into public without anything on my head and I felt beautiful," Jayme said.
Now 33, Jayme is cancer free and taking a hormone pill to keep the cancer away. For now, she is working to start a family and living by one Bible verse.
"Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous do not be afraid to not be discouraged for the lord your god will be with you where ever you go," Jayme said.