In preparation for a routine sinus operation, Jayne Sales underwent standard blood work at her doctor’s office. The results, however, were anything but standard. Jayne was notified that she had severe anemia and immediately began taking iron supplements to raise her red blood cell count. With the supplements, the doctor was able to perform Jayne’s sinus operation, but after weeks of nausea following surgery, Jayne quit taking the prescribed iron.
Fatigued from anemia, Jayne went back to the doctor for further tests in December 2007. After performing a colonoscopy, her doctor discovered the root cause of her anemia – a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) – a rare, ulcerated tumor on her stomach that was bleeding internally. For the second time, Jayne underwent surgery, this time to remove the cancerous tumor draining her body of strength.
During the next year, Jayne took oral chemotherapy treatments that caused swelling, nausea, and fatigue. Jayne didn’t let this slow her down, however. She worked her normal shifts at PPG as a quality inspector, remained active in church, and continued to do the hobbies she enjoyed, such as cooking, photography, and gardening.
Her journey with this disease was not over, unfortunately. In January 2010, after advice from her doctor, Jayne met with a dermatologist to examine a mole on her back that was growing in size. The results were not as Jayne had hoped – she was diagnosed with melanoma. Fortunately, due to her diligence, doctors were able to remove the mole in its first stages.
Jayne is currently cancer–free and has completed all of her oral chemotherapy treatments. Jayne’s hardest struggle was dealing with the uncertainty cancer brought into her life, but her husband, Ron, her family, her church, and her strong faith in God gave her the strength to overcome this disease. Quite the gardener herself, Jayne’s Garden of Hope includes a mix of violas and purple pansies – both delicate, yet strong and winter hardy. Jayne also selected thyme as a symbol of courage, and sage for healing and long life. These herbs represent Jayne’s love for cooking.
Jayne’s cancer journey taught her to be vigilant and listen to her body. She shared, “Sickness teaches you to never take things for granted. Don’t take the signs of your body for granted. If you notice something suspicious, get it checked.”