Monday, May 29, 2023

Daughter shares mother-daughter breast cancer journey

By Jessica Wettig

In March of 2016 Beverly Wilson, 58, Vienna, learned the devastating news that she had breast cancer.

She said she felt something in her left breast, and proceeded to go to the doctor the same day. After some tests, they discovered a small tumor.

Wilson proceeded to have surgery next month, to get the tumor removed. She underwent chemotherapy on June, and finished in July. She has been cancer-free ever since.

Almost exactly a year later, Wilson’s mother, Magdalene Snell, 88, Vienna, was also diagnosed with breast cancer—with a tumor also in her left breast. Snell proceeded to have the tumor removed, and finished radiation in July of 2017. She has been cancer-free ever since.

The two women received their care at Woman Care at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Wilson said the doctors and nurses were wonderful, and that a woman working there even offered to pray for her before her surgery in 2016.

Wilson said her oncologist, Dr. Carlos Robles, is very nice.

“He just loves ya,” she said. “You couldn’t ask for a better place.”

“I feel like God has blessed me with my story,” she said, always staying positive.

Wilson said that this experience can mess with your mind, but her faith in Jesus Christ kept her from being afraid.

“As a Christian, I figured it was a win-win,” she said. If she died during surgery, she would get to go to Heaven. And if she survived, she would get to continue living.

She said she felt peaceful, and the only situation that came close to breaking that peace was the sight of her two-year-old granddaughter, Abby.

A few days before her surgery, she and her husband, Jerry, traveled to Branson, Mo. She said she recalls talking to a man and a woman in an antique store, and she told them about her health issues. The man turned out to be a pastor at a church, and he promised to put her name on their prayer list.

Wilson grew up in Gale, and moved to McClure when she was in high school. She graduated from Shawnee High School. She worked at the grade school in McClure for 16 years before the family, including Snell, moved to Vienna in 2016.

Wilson enjoys crafting, and spending time with Abby, who is now 4 years old. Abby is the daughter or Wilson’s daughter, Emilie. Wilson’s husband worked for the Jim Wilson Company in Cape Girardeau with his uncle for over 30 years. Jerry is from Farmington, but moved to Cape to be a part of his uncle’s business. Beverly and Jerry were married on Feb. 14, 1986.

The two also have a son named Justin, who has two children.

Snell grew up in East Cape, and worked as a housewife. Her husband worked as a union carpenter, and the family lived in the country with three children. She enjoys embroidery, along with her favorite foods—pizza and candy.

Snell has spent parts of her life taking care of both her own parents and her mother-in-law and father-in-law.

Wilson said she is immaculate health, while Wilson has been diagnosed with diabetes. Wilson said her mother told her, before Abby was born; she hoped God would let her live long enough to enjoy the little girl. Now, the two are very close.

Wilson said her family has been with her every step of the way. Even Abby, who is four years old, now knows a lot about breast cancer.

The family attends New Hope Church in Vienna.

Emilie returned once from a trip, with a bracelet that said: Tough enough to wear pink. Wilson recalls, although she didn’t tell her daughter until later, that she did not want to wear the bracelet.

“It made it too real,” she said.

Regardless, she wore the bracelet and never took it off. She later added a bracelet on her wrist with it that said Hope.

Recently, she noticed the bracelets were gone—and she was devastated.

“I felt naked,” she said.

Her family offered to buy her new bracelets, but she said it wasn’t the same. She eventually found the bracelets, concluding that they must have slid off when she removed a pair of gloves.

In August, Wilson was asked to take part in a commercial for Saint Francis Medical Center. She is featured in the video ringing the bell, which survivors get to ring when they finish chemotherapy.

She said the experience was very positive, because people surrounded her laughing, clapping and cheering her on.

The commercial is featured on the hospital website, entitled Called to Serve You.