Civilian Air Force warrior shares her story of overcoming breast cancer Published Oct. 20, 2023 By Staff Sgt. Darius Sostre-Miroir Air Force Test Center EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif -- From a breast cancer diagnosis to the hardships that follow, and the ability to survive though it all is a testament to the strength, courage, resilience, and unwavering dedication that Jessica Hall showed as she overcame her journey through adversity. For Hall, Air Force Test Center Inspector General's management and program assistant, life took an unexpected turn in August 2021, just as she was preparing to embark on a new chapter with her family. "I was in the middle of saying my goodbyes on my last day of work before relocating for the final time in the military," Hall recalls. Little did she know that a life-changing phone call awaited her. A speculative mass had been found in her right breast, and she needed an immediate biopsy where a small sample of tissue would be taken from her body to examine it for signs of disease or abnormalities. "I went from excitement to worry, panic, and everything in between. I called my family for encouragement, and my husband assured me, 'Honey, we're going to get through this, no matter what.' That was the moment I shifted my thinking," said Hall. The very next day, while faced with a 20 hour long cross-country move with her family, Hall said, she concealed her feelings to protect her children. The car ride was mentally excruciating, with thoughts of uncertainty and fear. "All I kept hearing inside my head was 'you're going to die; you're never going to see your kids again,'" she recalled. Hall acknowledges, that even in the face of immense fear, she did not falter. She found solace through prayer, the reassurance of her family, and watching the zest for life in the other people around her. It was a moment of motivation that propelled her forward. After a whirlwind of tests and consultations, her life was forever altered. The call on August 30th, 2021, her worst fears were confirmed - invasive ductal carcinoma. "I didn't cry or scream. I immediately went into survivor mode," Hall said. Her determination to overcome this obstacle became her driving force. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer, which is categorized by cancer cells that have invaded the nearby breast tissue. This hostile cancer type often requires a combination of treatments. Hall's journey was marked by multiple rounds of radiation and aggressive chemotherapy. Remarkably, Hall said, she never stopped working even through her treatment and hid her struggles from colleagues. "I was laughing, talking, and living life," she says. "This was my battle, my story to write and I thank God every day that I'm still here." Hall gives credit to the support of AFTC and the compassion of medical professionals. “Being an Air Force spouse and having Tricare was paramount to me being here today. I want to thank AFTC who went above and beyond to help me. They respected, honored, and worked with me and I’m forever grateful for their support,” said Hall. Today, a year and six months in remission, Hall is on a mission to raise awareness about breast cancer. Through her YouTube channel, “Jess Me,” she educates people about the disease. "I embarked on this journey to illuminate the path for those lost in the darkness of breast cancer. I vividly recall my own desperate search for stories that mirrored my own searches that often lead to dead ends, so my goal is to touch the heart of at least one person with my testament and become a beacon of hope amid the shadows,” said Hall. Reflecting on her journey, Hall conveys a valuable life lesson: "Every day may not be a good day, but there is a good moment in each day. Focus on that one good moment." Hall's story is not just one of surviving breast cancer but thriving in the face of adversity. Her strength and determination inspire us all to live each day with courage, grace, and a commitment to making a positive impact on the world, no matter what obstacles may come our way. The National Breast Cancer Foundation encourages adult women of all ages to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Visit https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam for helpful tips and more information. For more information about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month.