Cassandra Duckworth: A Breast Cancer Journey of Faith Over Fear
Cassandra Ducksworth is a 39 year old native of Heidelberg, MS currently residing in Baton Rouge, LA. She is a proud alumni of Thee Jackson State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Management and also holds a MBA in Human Resources from Belhaven University. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and is currently an employee with the United States Department of Transportation. Cassandra is an 11 year and counting breast cancer thriver . She was diagnosed with Stage II Her 2 Positive Invasive Ductal Carcinoma with one left auxiliary lymphnode involvement on July 12, 2011 at the age of 27, one month before her 28th birthday. At that time breast cancer was the furthest thing from her mind. She discovered her lump on accident and from there the journey began. Cassandra's treatment included 6 rounds of chemotherapy taken once every 3 weeks and a year of the targeted therapy drug Herceptin. Cassandra also opted to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
Cassandra said she never felt alone on her journey. She had a great support system of friends and family. She gives special credit to her parents John & Rosie who were her official Co-Survivors being there every appointment and taking care of her after her surgeries. Cassandra also devised several coping mechanisms to support her through her journey. During treatment she coped by trying to live life as normal as possible. She went to work almost everyday and also was able to partake in her favorite season (with restrictions), football season. Her main source of coping came from having a strong faith and journaling to God. She had a routine when she went to treatment. Her favorite Bible verse is 2 Timothy 1:7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. "The song "Stir Up the Gift" by Joe Pace & the Colorado Mass Choir uses that same verse, I would sing it in my head while going to any visits to the doctor."
Cassandra is now an 11 year and counting Thriver. She enjoys volunteering with various organizations dedicated to breast cancer awareness and research. While living in MS, she was a state leader for the Young Survival Coalition and was also apart of a photo project entitled "The Beauty of Cancer" sponsored by Jackson State University’s WJSU with JSU Cares. In 2020, she participated the “Baddies Up" social media campaign and “The Naked Truth" photo project through "For the Breast of Us". Cassandra is currently going through training to be an Angel Advocate for the Tigerlily Foundation. In this role she will take the knowledge she has learned to help guide those newly diagnosed with breast cancer and advocate for change in the health system. Cassandra believes sharing her story is important. It gives all parties a sense of therapy. A time to take, relate and release. It gives everyone involved a space to be open and honest. It brings comfort where there is doubt. And in a place of weakness it gives hope and strength.