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'I'm the patient now' | Maryland ER doctor blogs about breast cancer journey

Dr. Kavita Jackson is using her 'Dr. Lady Blog' to share her battle with breast cancer and raise awareness about early detection.

WASHINGTON — A Maryland emergency room doctor blogs about her breast cancer journey with hopes of raising awareness about the importance of early detection.

When Dr. Kavita Jackson, who specializes in emergency medicine, felt an unusual pain in her right breast last December, she never thought it would be breast cancer. With no family history or known cancer in her family, it was news that was hard to swallow after her diagnosis in March.

“Once the diagnosis was confirmed, I was in straight denial, I hated my body,” said Dr. Jackson, who initially felt her results were a mistake. “I felt like it [body] had just betrayed me and I did not understand how this could have happened to me.”

Credit: Dr. Kavita Jackson

Before her diagnosis, Dr. Jackson had several tests done including an ultrasound and biopsy. Her new reality hit just as lockdowns took effect from the pandemic. She began chemotherapy shortly after, which meant taking extended leave from work.

“It was just really hard to grapple with ‘Oh, I am the patient now,’ that’s not the seat that I usually sit in,” Dr. Jackson said. “I’m on the other side, and I did not like being in the patient seat. It was completely foreign and really scary.”

As a mom of two toddlers and a wife who put her dream job on hold to battle breast cancer, Dr. Jackson learned to embrace her experience by blogging about it. 

Credit: Dr. Kavita Jackson

In her blog “ Dr. Lady Blog,” she details every bit of emotion, progress and now steps toward her recovery. She said it has been very therapeutic and helpful to friends and family who like to keep up.

In one post she details her fear of postoperative pain after choosing to have a double mastectomy to prevent the cancer from coming back.  In another, she talked about losing her hair and some of the science behind retaining some of it.

Another post details what it’s like to fight cancer in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I just want to be open about it and show people the real experience of where I am,” Dr. Jackson said.

Credit: Dr. Kavita Jackson

Today, Dr. Jackson feels much more encouraged and is using her experience to help others understand the importance of knowing their body and staying on top of their health.

“Do your self -breast exams,” said Dr. Jackson, who also reminds women about getting their annual mammograms. “If you find anything concerning, get to a doctor.”

You can keep up with Dr. Jackson through her Dr. Lady Blog and Instagram page Dr. Kavita Jackson.  

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