Thrive by IU Health

March 21, 2024

Endometrial cancer doesn’t stop this woman on the path to nursing

IU Health North Hospital

Endometrial cancer doesn’t stop this woman on the path to nursing

Christina “Tina” Jones knows about persistence. She has met more than a few trials completing her nursing degree.

By TJ Banes, IU Health Senior Journalist, tfender1@iuhealth.org

For two decades Christina “Tina” Jones has dreamed of a career in nursing. Once she made up her mind she said nothing would stop her.

For the last 12 years, Jones, who works at IU Health Arnett, has pursued a career as a medical assistant. The single mother of a 17-year-old son was accepted into the Ivy Tech nursing program in August of 2021.

“I just love helping people and I wanted to do more,” said Jones. She was working, going to school, and parenting full time when her father passed on Jan. 1, 2023. Schooling was put on pause for a semester. She was back on track to graduate in December 2023 when she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, an opportunity for women to learn about symptoms, treatments, and options. Jones first experienced side effects from what she believes was the use of an IUD, a reversible contraception inserted into the uterus through the vagina. She was treated for an ovarian cyst, pre-cancerous cells, and at one point received iron infusions for excessive bleeding.

Christina “Tina” Jones endometrial cancer nurse

In August of 2023, after experiencing weight loss and a painful menstrual cycle, she went to her primary care provider for a checkup. An ultrasound followed and on Oct. 24, 2023, a biopsy.

“I went on about my business - back to school and work - and on Oct. 31, 2023, I received notification that there was a result in my chart. I didn’t think I was reading it right so I called the nurse practitioner and heard her say, ‘I’m so sorry,’” said Jones. The words she heard were “endometrial cancer.”

A week later Jones was in the care of Dr. Lisa Landrum, an oncologist with IU Health’s Schwarz Cancer Center. She had a hysterectomy on Nov. 14, 2023, and began six rounds of chemotherapy at IU Health Arnett.

Through all the pauses, Jones has remained on track to become a nurse and recently passed her state boards.

“I worked with the Dean at Ivy Tech and was able to finish my clinicals and graduate in February. I could not have done this without the support of my job, my oncologist, and my school,” said Jones.

She also credits her mom, Sharon Hinton, brother, Lawrence Jones Jr., son Gabriel Wynter, boyfriend, Kwanta Crawford, and sister, LayToya Perry for encouraging her. Perry started a “GoFundMe” account “Support Tina’s Cancer Battle.”

As she looks ahead at her future as a nurse, Jones said she plans to focus first on her health and building up her immune system.

“I love my job and it’s been a dream to become a nurse. No matter what, I’ve kept pushing forward. Nursing school was tough and life gets tough, but I’ve had some amazing nurses helping me and it’s given me a different perspective,” said Jones. “This has not only benefitted me as I view nursing, it also benefits those I care for.”

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Cancer

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