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Cancer survivor credits family, friends in her victorious battle

Selma native Jean Moseley Massey has always had a sunny disposition and when she was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, that hasn’t changed.

A Selma City Schools retiree and a teacher certification officer at Judson College in Marion, Massey recalled the moment she found a lump on her breast on Valentine’s Day.

“I immediately called my family physician and friend Dr. Nick Knight, who scheduled a mammogram and ultrasound the next morning,” Massey said. “He gave me a recommendation for a biopsy in Selma.”

Cancer survivor Jean Massey is pictured with members of her family. Massey battled breast cancer and is currently in remission.

Doctors diagnosed Massey on Feb. 22, 2010. For Massey, her initial reaction is not what others might expect.

“My sister from Arkansas went to the appointment with me. She started to cry and all I could say was ‘do I have to wear that pink stuff now?” Massey chuckled.

Massey had a bilateral mastectomy weeks later, on March 12. Massey had nearly seven weeks of daily radiation treatments in Selma and traveled to Montgomery and Prattville for chemotherapy.

“I would have chemo on Thursday and then I would return to work on Monday (and) I never missed a day of work going through radiation — I did well,” Massey said. “The first day of chemo in Montgomery, when you walked in the room, just to see all those sick people, it was overwhelming. I walked through the whole room and my husband, Joe, was with me.”

Known for wearing big hats with designs ranging from flowers to birds or feathers in lieu of wigs, Massey remained optimistic through it all.

“I truly was not afraid,” Massey said. “I felt peace and a comfort throughout the whole process; I’m doing well — I feel great.”

From writing weekly columns about her progress to receiving calls from concerned family and friends, Massey said one’s “attitude” determines recovery.

“People would call and say, ‘you cannot be devastated because I’m not devastated. I’ll be alright,’” Massey said. “I wrote a weekly column of my story. It motivated me because I knew people were listening … First Baptist Church, so many churches and groups, my coworkers, were praying for me; through it all I felt good … I’m doing well.”

Massey thanks her father, a Selma surgeon, and her husband for their support.

“My father, Dr. Sam Moseley, was a source of strength for me,” Massey said. “He would often accompany me to doctors appointments and consultations. My husband Joe was always with me.”

Massey is currently in the remission stage and is a proud two-year breast cancer survivor. Participating in the Dallas County Relay for Life for many years, Massey said it was an emotional time to participate in the relay in 2010, as a seven-week survivor.