Hometown Hero: Tanysha Jackson

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 4:28 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Tanysha Jackson discovered a cancerous lump through a self-exam. She discovered her true self through her cancer battle.

“Worked through the whole thing. I never missed. I always told myself, I said ‘I have cancer, cancer does not have me.’ And so, I worked through it,” she said.

It helped that the medical assistant for two local gynecologists was going into a medical setting every day. But to Jackson, the bigger factor was just going in, staying occupied and staying optimistic.

“I’ll be the first one to get up - let me do this, let me do this, let me do this. Just kept going,” Jackson said. “It was therapeutic. Literally, someone had to remind me - you know Tanysha, you have cancer. Oh shoot, I do have cancer. I never thought about it. I didn’t dwell on it. I didn’t say woe is me. That’s just how I processed it. I put it in the back of my mind because, when I’m here at work, it’s not about me. It’s about the patients, their needs come before mine.”

Jackson isn’t suggesting her fight was easy.

“It had its moments because of the side effects from the chemo, my stomach was burning because it killed the lining of my stomach. I was tired, my skin was changing,” she said.

And she does not mean to minimize anyone else’s cancer experience.

“I’m not saying it’s no big deal. Cancer is a big deal. It’s just how you face it, how you take it. It can either break you or make you a stronger person and I let it make me a better person,” Jackson said.

Cancer has also made Jackson a better medical assistant because she is able to share her survivor story with new cancer patients.

“Since having it, I have a perspective. They’ll tell me I have this and I’m like, I had that too. And I encourage them that it’s going to be OK,” Jackson said.

And this WTOC Hometown Hero encourages all patients to seek support because she says even as tough as she was through her fight, she could not have beaten cancer alone.

“My co-workers, the doctors I work for, they’ve always been supportive. It’s like, if you need anything, let me know. And then my parents came out, my mom was with me through the whole three months I had chemo. My dad gave me a placard, I’ll try not to cry, it said, ‘you are stronger than you think.’ And, yeah, I am,” she said.