Manila business woman is a 23-year breast cancer survivor
Tonnie Moore, owner of TM Taxes and Bookkeeping in Manila, is a 23 year breast cancer survivor. She wad diagnosed in October 1992 and had a mastectomy in December the same year. She took six months of chemotherapy.
It was not easy but she said with the help of God and her family, she made it through.
"I was raised to believe the Lord would not put more on you than you can bear," Tonnie said. "I truly believe it. Through it all, I never shed a tear. I know it was hard on my family. My parents were still living then and it was hard on all of them."
She said her husband Bobby, her sisters, her sons and their families were so supportive.
"I would look at my grandchildren who were so young and they were my hope," she said. "I wanted to see them grow up. I thank the Lord I have been able to watch them grow up and now I am blessed to enjoy my great-grandchildren."
Tonnie discovered a lump on the outside of her breast and had it checked out. She was referred to Dr. Deggs.
"He was really good," Tonnie said.
She was asked if she wanted to have the breast removed if needed following the biopsy surgery.
"I did not want to do that," she said. "I wanted to wake up and make a decision with a clear mind."
When she got the news, it was cancer and she would need a mastectomy, she made the decision to wait until December.
"Every year my husband and sons went on a hunting trip," Tonnie said. "I decided a couple weeks would not make any difference and I insisted they go. I was determined for them to go on. I don't think they enjoyed themselves for worrying about me but it was something I wanted for them."
Tonnie had started her business in 1990 and after surgery, she was back in the office. In January tax time started along with her chemotherapy.
"I would have treatments on Friday, come into the office and I was really sick," she said. "Bobby was here to help me and I managed to continue working through it all. I would lay down a while and then get up and work a while longer. I think working and staying busy was good for me. Everyone has to deal with cancer with what works for them. Some people find comfort and help in support group meetings. I found my strength in my family depending on them for my support group."
She said sometimes she does regret her decision not to have reconstructive surgery because her prosthesis and bra has never fit correctly.
She continues having mammograms every year. She did have one scare and had a biopsy on her other breast, but the test came back fine.
Her advice to women is to keep a watchful eye and have regular mammograms.
"There was not a lot of cancer in my family," Tonnie said. "Don't think you are okay just because cancer does not run in the family."
She and her husband will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in December.
"I am proud of every year," she said.
Bobby and Tonnie have two sons, Brent and Kent. Brent and his wife, Pam, have two daughters and sons-in-law, Heather and Robert Kisner and Codie and Michael Huffman. Kent and his wife, Margaret, have a son and a daughter and son-in-law, Weston Moore and Morgan and Matt Noble.
They have five great-grandchildren, Lydia Grace Kisner 5; Bradley Moore-Tyler, 4; Jett Brolyn Kisner, 3; Tripp Roscoe Noble, 1; and Amelia Claire Kisner, 1 month.
Every Sunday evening, the family gathers at Tonnie's home for a meal and family time.
Family is very important to Tonnie and she looks forward to watching the great-grandchildren as they grow.
Tonnie is a survivor. She not only survived cancer, she survived polio. She had polio as a very young child. When she was 12 years old, she, along with a lot of other children who had survived polio, underwent surgery at the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock. She can remember a lot of casts and braces.
Tonnie and Bobby are members of First Baptist Church in Manila.