One woman’s journey through cancer

Joan Bell hopes her story will help others who face similar health challenges.

A cancer diagnosis isn’t just life-threatening. It’s life-changing.

And it’s largely up to the person being diagnosed just what kind of changes those will be.

For Joan Ball of White Stone, who was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in late 2016, her journey “changed me in many ways. I’m more compassionate, humble, understanding. Now I understand what it’s really like for women who go through this. If I didn’t know how they truly felt, I do now.”

The journey begins

After she had first noticed a lump, Susan Sanders at White Stone Pharmacy recommended that she see Dr. Vicki Kinsel, who in turn let Jean Nelson, executive director of the Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic (NNMFHC), know that Joan needed testing. The clinic, with the help of Grace Church funding, paid for the screening and then the diagnostic mammograms, which led to a biopsy.

The malignancy was confirmed. Joan was employed…