88-year-old ETX survives breast cancer...twice - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

88-year-old ETX survives breast cancer...twice

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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -

An East Texas women has beaten breast cancer not once, but twice.

88-year-old Bobby Jo Walker was first diagnosed in 1973, then again in 2003.

And at 88 years old, she says she is determined to share her story, and her advice, about how the deadly disease really can be beaten.

Betty Jo says her story began when she lost her husband and became a single mother of four children.

Later, when she was 48 years old, she was first diagnosed with breast cancer.

"They were going to remove my breast. Back then I didn't have a choice," said Walker.

The thought of losing her breast didn't faze her

"My thought was, 'I hope this saves my life because of my child,'" said Walker. 

She was still caring for her youngest child, and she couldn't bear the thought of him not having his mother.

"The thought of having to leave him after his dad had left him, and now me? That's what I was most concerned about,'" said Walker.

So she got the mastectomy.

"It looked like a railroad track because the scar, and the opening extended from my chest down to my side," said Walker.

Without radiation or chemotherapy, she survived.

Then 30 years later, at the age of 78, she was diagnosed with breast cancer again.

"It wasn't quite the shock that it was before because I had been warned this could happen. I was warned that if one breast is removed, then it could travel to the other one," said Walker.

After a double mastectomy at age 88, she tells everyone she can how she survived.

"I still think that recovery depends on probably your faith, on a good attitude, and by getting busy and doing things for other people," said Walker.

Thursday Walker walked up to sign a pink fire truck which was covered with more than 300,000 signatures from other breast cancer survivors.

While signing the truck, she wrote her message, "Have faith, stay positive, and stay busy."

"I don't want to say it's a cure, I don't know for sure. In my case I think it was," said Walker.

Betty Jo is currently a resident at Buckner Westminster place in Longview.

Not only has she been able to watch all four of her children grow up, she also has three grandchildren.

She says she will continue to motivate others with her story as long as she can.

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