A change in her nighttime routine may just have saved Barbara Ross’ life.
One evening last spring, Ross put on her nightclothes and sat down to watch TV, rather than going straight to bed, as was her habit.
“That’s how I found it,” she said of finding a lump. “I called my doctor, and they got the ball rolling.”
Ross said she initially kept her diagnosis to herself and didn’t even tell her family—not even when she and her sister took a cruise.
“I didn’t tell my family until the day before my surgery,” she recalled with a laugh. “They were a little ticked off. I’m the type of person who doesn’t want anyone to worry about me.
“I was so confident the Lord was going to bring me through.”
After doing her own research, Ross opted for a lumpectomy, followed by radiation.
But it would be eight months after her surgery, which took place last November, before Ross underwent her first radiation treatment because she suffers from thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a rare blood disorder diagnosed in 2015.
TTP affects the blood’s platelets by depleting them. It can cause clots, which can block the flow of oxygenated blood to the body’s organs.
Ross said that at one point, she ended up being hospitalized for eight days.
Ross, whose husband died in 2014, also was diagnosed with asthma in 2015.
“It’s been a roller coaster,” she said. “But I thank God every day.”
Ross, who completed her radiation treatments in early August, lauds the care she received at Mercy Medical Center.
“The staff made it so easy,” she said. “They work with you. I would recommend them to anybody.”
Ross said she always has been a stickler for getting a mammogram and encourages others to be vigilant.
“I would say always be aware of your body,” she advised. “And do self exams.”