KENNER - After a nearly six month battle against Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, State Representative Julie Stokes is rejoicing over her victory and celebrating with her family.
"I look at this as a second chance," Rep. Stokes said.
She learned last week she is now 100 percent cancer free.
"I never thought for a minute that I would die of it, but those numbers were there. I mean, it was a thirty something percent shot that nothing would work. You know, so that was scary," Stokes said.
Her recovery is not over. Stokes is still recuperating at home after having a double mastectomy, but she is doing so with a smile on her face.
Stokes made the announcement last July about her diagnosis, stepping down from her run for State Treasurer in order to focus on her health. There were days where the battle was not easy.
"The first run of chemotherapy was a drug called Taxol, that was for twelve weeks, every week. And it actually grew on Taxol, so I was very well panicked about that. But then the second drug was Adriamycin and that was four times. And we just felt like it was melting away," Stokes said.
Dr. Scott Sullivan was Stoke's physician at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, a facility on St. Charles Avenue catering to breast cancer patients and reconstruction.
"Many of the patients we get are those who had complications from other reconstructive procedures as well. Or those women who've been told they're not candidates for what we do simply because they're thought to be too thin,” Sullivan said. “So, we're often able to help many of these patients."
As Stokes gets her strength back, she can’t help but thank the countless people who were standing behind her. Even through her battle is over, she plans on being there for so many women still fighting breast cancer.
"There's just so many women in our area that are going through this,” she said. “There are so many women in our area going through it now. Just keep asking people to find a friend, that you know, somebody that you can walk through this journey with.”