Positivity Helps Cypress Hair Stylist Survive Breast Cancer
Denitra Ferguson of Cypress is a woman who takes care of everyone around her. Cancer taught her to take care of herself. She credits good health, regular exercise, healthy eating, faith and a positive attitude with getting her through her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
In 2015, when she first discovered a lump in her left breast, she thought it was probably a cyst related to hormones. Though she always had an annual mammogram, she saw her primary care physician at Harris Health System’s Aldine Health Center who referred her to Smith Clinic for an ultrasound and biopsy.
Today, she is cancer free.
On Oct. 12, she joins other breast cancer survivors at a “Pink Out” Celebration hosted by Harris Health System. The event features an exterior lighting of Harris Health’s Smith Clinic and reunites cancer survivors with physicians and staff to celebrate their stories of strength and perseverance. All were treated through Harris Health’s Ben Taub Hospital, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and Smith Clinic.
“When I heard the diagnosis, I calmly asked, ‘What’s the next step?’ Then I went home and cried,” she says. “I’m a child of God, and that kept me going. I asked my three children to be strong. My mother reminded me to keep my hope and trust in God. I did. I was scared, but I kept going, and I shared my positive attitude with women I met in treatment.”
Ferguson, 50, started a five-month regimen of chemotherapy at LBJ Hospital. She chose to have a double mastectomy to relieve her fear of a recurrence of breast cancer, then reconstructive surgery.
“I look back to when I wondered if the treatment would ever end. Then it ended,” she recalls. “Now I enjoy life day by day. I grab hold of life and love, love, love.
Ferguson offers other breast cancer patients sage advice.
“Stay positive. Don’t read too much on the Internet. Find a good support system. Keep the faith. Take time for yourself. Slow down. Do what you can, then leave the rest for another day,” she says.
She credits her support system: her children (ages 34, 25, 20), fiancé, mother, and a dear friend. “They know how I feel about a clean house. They kept my house spotless.”
As a hair stylist with her own shop, Ferguson reminds women they are beautiful with or without their hair. She encourages them to keep a close check on their health.