DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Beginning Tuesday, June 22, you’re going to notice some changes on 2 NEWS Today.
For the next couple of months, Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Jamie Jarosik will be off the air. She will be taking some time off, embarking upon a journey she never expected: fighting breast cancer.
“You don’t want to hear the word cancer, ever,” Jamie told 2 News Today Anchor, Lauren Wood. “So that was a hard thing to hear.”
Jamie’s journey with cancer started with a routine mammogram in April. A suspicious spot led to more imaging and then a biopsy. “I remember having friends tell me, ‘You’re so calm about this!’” Jamie said. “But I really didn’t think it was going to end up being anything.”
The biopsy results came in after hours, on a Friday evening. There were a lot of confusing words and unanswered questions. Jamie remembered she had her doctor’s cell phone number and called him right away.
“He was so kind,” Jamie recalled. “He went right in and looked at it and confirmed that it is cancer that is in-SITU… which means it’s contained in a duct. It’s not invasive.” Not invasive… and caught early. Her doctor estimates it is stage 0/1. That was the good news.
The bad news: it’s a large area that’s affected. So, Tuesday, Jamie will undergo a double mastectomy. Choosing her course of action was a tough decision with a lot of emotions.
“For the first two weeks after the diagnosis, I cried every day,” Jamie recalls. One of the biggest challenges was telling those she loves, especially her kids.
“I think they’ve started to understand that this isn’t just a little surgery,” Jamie said. “This is going to be a big surgery. I’m going to be down for a while. I’m not going to be able to do as much.”
A big surgery, but a surgery that will hopefully eradicate the cancer. The goal is to cut it all out, without the need for chemo or radiation.
Talking to those who have been there – and coming up with a plan to fight – is what has given Jamie peace of mind. “I still cry every now and then when I think about the recovery and how hard that may be,” Jamie said. “But I think that’s normal. You have to feel all the feelings. It’s important to be positive but you really have to feel what you feel.”
One prevailing feeling for Jamie is gratitude, especially for her doctors and for the technology that found her cancer.
Jamie’s surgeon, Dr. Melissa Roelle, says mammograms really are the first line of defense against breast cancer. “The earlier we identify a problem, the more treatment options we have,” Dr. Roelle said. “And overall, the more women we’re saving.”
Self breast exams are important, but they don’t always find the problem. “For many of us, we are feeling totally fine… we have no symptoms,” Dr. Roelle said. “And there might be a problem that we can identify and intervene sooner.” That was the case for Jamie. No lump. No symptoms.
Encouraging other women to get their mammograms is one of the reasons she wanted to share her story.
“It’s very important,” Jamie said. “We would’ve never known. It was nothing I could feel and I still feel fine. And I still am thinking: ‘What am I doing? Why am I going through this surgery?’ Because it was detected. It’s there. I can’t feel it. Modern technology. Get your mammograms.”
Recovery from Jamie’s surgery is expected to take about eight weeks. You’ll see some different faces filling in for her in the meantime.
Jamie said she would love to hear from you during her recovery. We’ve included a form at the bottom of this page where you can send her an email. You can also catch up with her on Facebook or Twitter. She says she may not feel up to responding, but she will certainly read your messages and appreciate each one.
Below, you’ll find some extended interview clips with Jamie’s surgeon, Dr. Melissa Roelle. You can find links that might be useful if you need to schedule your mammogram and follow Jamie’s Journey on Facebook here.