Chesterfield woman inspires joy while going through chemo, double mastectomy

Chesterfield woman inspires joy while going through chemo, double mastectomy

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - There are many struggles in life where we feel like we have to handle it all alone. But the truth is, we don’t have to as one Chesterfield woman has learned.

“It was here in this building, Aug. 3, 2019, that the biopsies came back for breast cancer," said Joy Leath.

The Chesterfield wife and mom of three went through 20 weeks of the most aggressive chemo. She shared her journey on the TeamJoy Facebook page.

“It was hard, but I embraced it. I went to work with a bald head. I went to the mall with a bald head," said Leath.

But chemo isn’t always a guarantee.

“I don’t want to go down this road again if I can avoid it. So I made the decision to have a double mastectomy," said Leath, “I don’t fear being knocked out and going under... I think my reservations lie in waking up and knowing that I made this next step. It’s to save my life. However, I know I’m going to look different and I have to embrace that.”

After Joy’s surgery, she needed to spend a few extra days in the hospital, but we caught up with her at her home.

“Part of me does feel, I don’t want to say less than a woman, but I do feel less. I don’t feel like I’m the same person. But I don’t feel like I’m supposed to be that same person, there’s something in me that’s supposed to evolve," said Leath. “So many people say that my walk has been such an inspiration, all I’m doing is walking! So if I can continue to walk, I can continue to inspire.”

Unfortunately, nothing is a guarantee, so this surgery does not mean joy is cancer-free. She meets with her pathologist next week to find out her next step.

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