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Marva Hughes

Nov 3, 2022, 15:15 PM
Rev. Dr. Marva’s Breast Cancer Journey
Breast pain results in cancer diagnosis, even after clean mammogram. Lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation follows. Rev. Dr. Marva Hughes shares her story.
Breast pain results in cancer diagnosis, even after clean mammogram. Lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation follows. Rev. Dr. Marva Hughes shares her story.
Patient Name : Marva Hughes
Year : 2022
Gender : Female
MD Anderson? : No

Rev. Dr. Marva’s Breast Cancer Journey

It has become important to Rev. Dr. Marva Hughes that she share her cancer journey.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2022, Hughes didn’t want to share her news. Her life was busy as senior minister at Omega Church and associate regional minister for the Ohio American Baptist Churches. But she’s had a change of heart.

The Clayton woman began her journey after experiencing occasional pain in her left breast in fall 2021. As she drove to the funeral of a sorority sister who died of pancreatic cancer, she decided to make an appointment with her gynecologist to be checked. Diagnosis followed in January, a title=lumpectomy;healthinfo=Lumpectomy was performed by surgeon Thomas Heck, MD., and treatment began under the care of oncologist Sana Jeffreys, MD.

Hughes quietly journaled, but kept details of her cancer to herself. Her daughter, Kelly Hughes, an LPN studying to become an RN, and some relatives and friends quietly helped her.

One day, that changed.

“As I was taking a shower, I heard a voice that said, ‘How will you have a testimony if you don’t tell people what you are going through?’” Marva Hughes recalled. “I think it is significant to know that somebody like me can have breast cancer. It is important to know we are fragile. Yes, I have many people who look to me for support as a minister,” she said.

The diagnosis was a surprise. “I always heard that breast cancer does not hurt. I had had a title=mammogram;healthinfo=Mammogram in June (2021), and it was clear,” Marva said.

Dr. Heck performed a lumpectomy and found the cancer had spread, placing Hughes in the Stage 2 range. “That meant my treatment was more severe. I had to do four rounds of chemotherapy and 20 days of radiation,” she recalled. As treatment progressed, Hughes worked with oncologist Dr. Jeffreys. “She is a wonderful person full of compassion and love. She certainly helped me get through the process,” Marva said. So, too, did the patient navigators and Jeffreys’ staff, who she said, “treated me like a sister, a friend. I always looked forward to going to Dr. Jeffreys office.”

Marva’s final meeting with Dr. Jeffreys was in September 2022. She was instructed to get a COVID shot before returning to work in late October.

Marva was looking forward to seeing her other daughter, Monica, who has multiple sclerosis and lives in a nursing home. Visits with Monica had been restricted during Marva’s journey because of fear of infection.

Today Marva continues to work to spread the word about breast cancer. She’s authoring a book, “Inside I Cried”. She says, “I didn’t do it (cry) on the outside because people were looking to me for support. I have a testimony. I had bad days, really bad days - but good days as well. Anytime I could share with a sister about what God has done for me, that was a good day.”

Kelly Hughes was by her mother’s side along the way. A behavioral health nurse, Kelly said she didn’t have first-hand experience with cancer patients. So, she talked to fellow nurses about theirs. “I leaned on my nursing community on what to do. I knew I had to support my mother, be strong for her,” she said. “I knew with my faith, and her faith, we would get through it.”

Walking with Marva and Kelly along the way was Marva’s best friend, Johnny Martin, whom she said blessed her with guidance and words of encouragement.

Marva’s advice to other women includes getting routine mammograms and visiting their doctor if they notice anything peculiar in their body. “As soon as you detect something, have someone check it out,” she said.

“We all need a foundation and, of course, mine is God. This experience … allowed me to speak with other women and encourage them on how important not only our health is but also that they know God. He is the one that brought me through the whole thing,” Hughes said.

Categories :
  • Acquisition
  • Acute Care
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cancer
  • Cancer Information for Women
  • Convenience Seeker
  • Critical Fixer
  • Fit Searcher
  • Patient Story
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Call the Premier Health cancer hotline at (844) 316-HOPE(844) 316-4673 (4673), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to connect with a Premier Health cancer navigator.