Josephine Jackson is an A.P.R.N., who has been practicing nursing since 1989, and works at our UAMS East Regional Campus in Helena. Josephine was nominated to tell us the story of her journey to better heath!
What part of your journey to better health has been the most challenging?
A diagnosis of breast cancer came into my life in 2013, the year I was set to graduate from University of Alabama Doctoral in Nursing Program. I had just found out I was about to be a grandmother again. It was as if everything was happening all at once. I had to start chemo as soon as possible. My whole world changed so quickly. However, this wonderful doctor called me that night and told me that we could beat this. The power of positive thinking and the importance of positive energy in a life-changing situation cannot be over emphasized.
I went through chemo without any problem. I actually was always doing homework while doing chemo so I had something else to focus on, which helped tremendously. Treatments went well. Aside from losing my hair, I was fine. I graduated in December 2013. One of the healthy lifestyle changes I made was to focus more on plant-based foods. I continued to exercise and I learned to laugh. The most challenging part of my journey to better health has been consistency with physical activity. My excuse would be ‘I do not have time, I have to do charts, see patients.’”
What activities are you participating in?
I recently participated in Zumba class and a line dance class. I am president of our local Breast Cancer Support group in Phillips County.
As a survivor of breast cancer, you are a great voice to those you work within your Breast Cancer Support group. Can you tell us about the group and how it has impacted your health?
Our group has about 15 members ranging in survivorship from three months to over 15 years. This group has an effect on my spiritual/mental health. The positive impact on my health has been the times I have worked clinic all day, get in the meeting, and feel renewed with a passion to keep going. Group members share stories, challenges and have evolved into women who see the group as a support mechanism.
What advice could you give someone who wants to make changes for a healthier lifestyle?
My advice for someone who wants to make changes for a healthier lifestyle is 1) Set realistic and achievable goals 2) Look at food and exercise as medicine with daily prescriptions 3) Think positive thoughts and have an attitude of gratitude 4) Get a good night’s sleep 5) Understand that lifestyle change is more than diet and exercise.