Veran Hill
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Veran Hill
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She was at home by herself when she got the news. Usually the house would be a buzz with the movement of her husband and daughter in and out of rooms, but with just her there alone, it was quiet.

That uneasy quietness hung in the air when she answered the phone.

"Mrs. Hill," the doctor said. "your tests came back and it's cancerous."

Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness month. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, according to Retired Sgt. 1st Class Veran Hill became one those women in the summer of 2013.

"I thought at first to myself that the doctors completely made it up," she said. "This could not be so because I've been doing the right things."

And doing the right things for Veran meant eating right, exercising often and participating in a yearly mammogram.

The American Cancer Society said in a study that from 2005 to 2010, about 67 percent of women received a yearly breast cancer screening. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.

Veran said she thought of beating her cancer as if she was getting in shape for a physical training test. As a former drill sergeant, whipping her body back into being healthy was like whipping civilians into Soldiers.

"I made my mind up that I am a Soldier. I really am a Soldier! I had challenges before and I overcame them. I could overcome this," she said.

Veran discovered a lump under her arm while on vacation with her daughter. She was a bit alarmed although she had already gotten a mammogram for the year. She immediately made a doctor's appointment at Fort Jackson Moncrief Army Health Clinic.

Her concern was valid. The doctors informed her that the cancer they had found in her right side was spreading fast.

Veran went through 33 sessions of chemotherapy, a Lumpectomy and auxillary dissection surgery and did radiation once aday, five days a week for seven weeks before being able to beat cancer.

Her husband, retired Sgt. 1st Class Artemus Hill, gave Veran the nickname Warrior Princess during her recovery process.

"When I found out she had it I just sat there and cried," said Artemus. "Then something told me to stop worrying and I did. We are both Soldiers, we are going to get together and fight this thing together."