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I Have Been Given a Gift

20 years ago when my son was almost 2 I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. I did a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation and was given the gift to watch my son grow up to be an amazing young man. I became complacent and thought after 20 years I was home free. Last August I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer that had metastasized to my lungs. Surgery and radiation were not an option this time around but I did 6 months of chemo. The tumor on my right side is no longer visible, the cancer cells in my lungs are not visible on the PET scan and the tumor on the left was reduced by about 90%. I do monthly hormone therapy shots in the hopes that the cancer cells will stay asleep for a very long time. My husband and I are planning those "someday when we retire" trips now instead of later and enjoying our time together. How many people are lucky enough to be given this gift of time twice in their life!

Diane Hamilton
Golden, CO

When I'm Healed

This is how it’s made me feel and I write this so you know,

That cancer can be beaten but may often make you low.

It changes you, surprises you, but it doesn’t have to win,

So I’ll show myself with scars and all and hopefully you'll listen.

When my scabs are healed, I’ll post a pic though some may find it shocking,

But it’s better than a photograph of me laid out in a coffin!

And though it’s not a nice thought, it could have been so real,

That’s why it’s vitally important to give your boobs a feel!

My lump was like a time-bomb which would detonate quite fast,

And if I had ignored it, Christmas may have been my last.

I know that sounds dramatic but cancer is unjust,

So early diagnosis is a life-saving must!

It’s strange now to have a massive wound where once there was a titty,

It’s made me doubt my confidence and at times I’ve felt quite shitty.

It was daunting and a bit scary to go under the surgeon’s knife,

But it was just a boob and worth the loss in exchange for a long life.

Now I’m overjoyed to be alive and still championing my fight,

Though the road has been a bumpy one, at last the end is now in sight.

The chemo is hard going and there are times I want to cave,

Then I think of the alternative and it helps me to be brave.

But I am so odd, my boob has gone and now my hair has too,

I must admit, it is a shock to find me looking as I do.

But it will all be worth it when they give me the all clear,

And Benidorm watch out, we’ll have the party of the year!

So please my friends, I ask of you, do as I request,

Give yourself a bloody good examination of your chest.

Hopefully you’ll find nothing but don’t panic if you do,

You can join my club and be a proud survivor too!

Samantha Munro-Webb
Murcia, Spain

My Poem

I was taking a shower when I first found the lump,

It was in my left breast, a painless small bump.

I wasn’t too worried, it’s a cyst, I assumed,

I wasn’t to know then that a death sentence loomed!

So off I went blindly to the doctors in town,

Who pushed, poked and prodded my boobies around.

They got squished into mammograms then covered in gel,

The ultrasound I’m informed will have more to tell.

The Initial tests done, I know something’s not right,

Its cancer they’re saying so get ready to fight!

Cancer? A tumour? But surely benign?

A simple lumpectomy and then I’ll be fine!

But oh no, it’s malignant, be urgent, act quick,

This cancer is aggressive and will make you quite sick!

It’s growing inside me, the cells dividing fast,

And then I’m told this operation will not be my last!

So now I’m preparing to lose my left breast,

To put my feet up and get plenty of rest.

‘Cos after this op, the chemo will follow,

Plus hormone tablets daily to swallow.

So this is not over, and as battle commences,

I know that the chemo will affect my defences.

It may leave me quite poorly, and may make me feel ill,

But who cares, I’m alive and I have a strong will!

Don’t get me wrong though, the tears they have flowed,

And although I am strong, my weakness has showed,

I’ve been brave, I’ve been scared, I’ve been shocked astounded,

But I’ve had so much love, I’m amazed and dumbfounded!

Laughter helps me through, but so has lots of crying,

It’s hard to think that without treatment I’m dying.

Yet life carries on and I know I will too,

So thank you to my family and friends – I love you!

Samantha Munro-Webb
Murcia, Spain

My Husband

My husband calls me a ‘right tit’ and wants to draw on my head!

He says I look like a lollipop when I’m glowing bright red.

But he also cleans up my vomit as I frequently miss the loo,

He never moans or complains, which makes me feel better too.

He says I remind him of Kojak, then smiles and thinks he’s funny,

But in my world he is, he makes a rainy day seem sunny.

He sits through all my chemo which must be such a bore,

And pushes and encourages me when I say I can’t take anymore.

He’s changed my manky dressings and injected me in the belly,

I bet that wasn’t a pretty sight as it wobbles just like jelly!

And after my operation, the time I got stuck in the bath,

He had to pull me out but we did have a good laugh.

He says he thinks I’m gorgeous but I think he’s telling lies,

But he says that I’m his wife and I am beautiful in his eyes.

It doesn’t bother him that there’s no boob and just a scar,

He says the other one is big enough and makes up for it by far!

He makes me put my feet up and get plenty of rest,

He does the washing and the housework, he really is the best.

He treats me like a Princess and looks after me so well,

He’s made life much easier when it could have been quite hell.

He’s seen me at my worse, and held me as I’ve cried,

And when I’ve said ‘I’m fine’, he knows if I have lied.

It must be hard for him, when he sees me in such pain,

I know he wants to take it away and make me well again.

So I thank you my dear husband, my lover, my best friend,

You’ve helped me through my cancer, eased my path to mend.

Soon I’ll get the all clear and we will have such a fab life,

I love you Simon Munro-Webb, and am so blessed to be your wife.

Samantha Munro-Webb
Murcia, Spain

Breast cancer survivor invents cooking lid because of BPA concerns

When I was diagnosed with Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancer 3 years ago, I became concerned about the dangers of BPA's leaching into my food when I microwaved. After much research, I found overwhelming scientific evidence that validated this notion. BPA is labeled an "Endocrine-disrupting agent" by the American Medical Association. New studies show "BPA -Free" plastics may also exhibit Estrogenic Activities. Convinced that my cancer may have been caused by these unwanted toxins, I was determined to find a way for devoted microwave users like myself to feel safe about the cooking process. Utilizing my years of design experience, I invented a universal glass vented lid,called the Cuchina Safe Lid, created for toxic-free microwave cooking.

Watch the latest news story - http://www.news4jax.com/news/morning-show/concerns-over-bpa# .

Soon my product will be aired on QVC, I call it my "Lemons to Lemon-Aid" story. After a double mastectomy, chemo, and many surgeries, I have found the silver lining to my cancer, and I hope to help others in their quest to cook, eat and live healthier!

Susan Castriota
Pittsburgh, PA

mammograms!

I found out two weeks ago, that my breast cancer is back, for the third time. Just past 6 years now, since the last one, and I thought I was safe.

As I have had lumpectomies, and radiation, on both breasts, I am just waiting to confirm that I will be getting a mastectomy.

I have been clicking on this site, daily, for over 6 years now.

All 3 of my cancers were found through mammograms, and I will scream from the top of any hill, to anyone who will listen....DON'T FORGET YOUR MAMMOGRAM!!!!!!!!! They were all small, but 2 were already invasive. Don't wait, thinking you have to feel a big lump. I felt nothing!

Please click to help other woman, who might otherwise not be able to afford one!!!!

bubbieone
Trenton, ON, Canada

Changing the Way Millions of People Fight Cancer

It was December 6, 2013 when I first found out that my mom was diagnosed with uterine sarcoma cancer. I had recently graduated from SCU with my Bachelors in Psychology & Business and was just beginning my career as a Marketing Manager, when I received a frantic call from my sister saying that I had to come home to Hawaii immediately. Without hesitation, I went with my gut feeling and bought a one way ticket back to Hawaii, leaving my life and career behind.

Suddenly and without warning my family & I were thrown head first into the world of cancer. We were adapting to changes, often daily, that offered no road map, played by no rules, and had no sympathy. Feeling helpless and disoriented, we did what most people would do in this situation and relied fully on our oncologist to pave the path towards recovery. The hospital became more of a battle ground as my mom endured the grueling wounds caused by the side effects of her treatment. Although nothing about her hysterectomy or chemotherapy felt like a “treatment”, we knew there was no turning back at this point. We had to just stay patient and trust our journey.

On November 3, 2014, I watched my mom take her last breath as she gently loosened the grip she had on my hand. Since then I've worked endlessly on a one of a kind cancer planner called CanPlan designed to assist patients and caregivers through the daily battles of cancer. I used my Psychology background to integrate influences for positivity throughout the planner, my marketing background to design a beautiful planner with user friendliness in mind, and my grief to motivate me to create an effective tool that teaches cancer patients and caregivers that they 'Can Plan' to beat cancer.

Sharon
Honolulu, HI

The Bravest Woman I know....My Mother

My mother, Sue Britton, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in December 2015. The cancer was detected while getting her routine yearly mammogram. She was lucky enough to have the cancer caught early enough that the doctors were able to get it all out with the double mastectomy surgery and 12 chemo treatments.

She has been the strongest and bravest woman I have ever met throughout this entire horrible process and has always had a positive outlook on life. Our entire family has been there to provide support with every step of the process. The last chemo treatment was on April 26, 2016. The biggest support and her reason to kick this cancer for good has always been her 4 grandchildren. They have always loved her the same and showed her how proud they are even after she lost her hair from the treatments. In order to help her celebrate the last treatment and to show just how proud all of us are of her 4 grandchildren made her a sign. She took that sign with her to the last treatment and it proved to her just how lucky she is and to always keep fighting to keep that nasty cancer gone for good!!

Rachel West
Petersburg, IL

God watching over me

The end of February 2016, I decide at age 62 I wanted to lose weight and get healthy. I have never had any major health problems, not on any medications. I went to the doctor and he ordered a mammogram. I hadn't had one since 2005, I started to head home and call later for an appointment to get it done. Something told me to go to the hospital right then and set up the appointment. When I arrived at x-ray department they told me that they had a cancellation and they could do it right then. So I had it done. About a week later I was informed there was something in my right breast and I need to see a surgeon. My doctor called and got a surgeon to see me, he had another mammogram done and a ultra sound. Then he came in and told me that I need a biopsy in two different areas of my right breast. Then 3 days later I was informed that I had ducts carcinoma non invasive situ, that I could have a lumpectomy or as mastectomy, That if I did the lumpectomy I had to have radiation therapy. I have decided to have the mastectomy, which will be done on Monday May 2. My husband has been there and given me so much support. I'm a nurse and I know that I should have had my mammogram done yearly, and it is my the grace of God that I went to the hospital that day, because if I hadn't went I know that I would never have gotten the mammogram. I'm also have reconstruction surgery done at the same time, I know I have a long road ahead of me, but at least I will be here for my family.

Pamala Lukehart
Hillsboro, MO

I'm Moving On!

I was diagnosed on September 30, 2015 with Triple Negative, Grade 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. We had to leave on a planned vacation, knowing I was awaiting biopsy results. Our flight landed and my phone rang with the call about 20 minutes later, confirming what I already knew in my heart. My husband and I handled that moment the best we could, considering we were driving down the road in our rental car with our two awesome boys, ages 12 and 13. We all cried and in hindsight, it may have been perfect timing because we held it together as much as possible to let our boys know that everything was going to be okay. We had traveled to Maryland because my husband was competing in his 2nd Ironman triathlon. An hour after that dreaded phone call, we found out his race was cancelled due to a incoming hurricane. A year of training...all for nothing. It was an unimaginable couple of hours in our lives.

Instead of flying back home, we decided to hop back in our rental car and drive back to Michigan. We were in no rush to face the music. We took our boys to Washington D.C to see the sites and then spent a couple days in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was now October and Breast Cancer Awareness month had begun the day after my diagnosis. There were pink ribbons EVERYWHERE! But, it was honestly the best way I could think of to spend those few days.

I had a double mastectomy on October 20th and started 16 rounds of chemo on November 16th. I tested negative for any genetic genes, which was surprising because I had already survived thyroid cancer in 2003.

I finished chemo last week and thought it was going to be a quiet one with my husband and boys...until allll my family showed up. Who knew a chemo treatment could end up being one of the best days of your life? It sure was for me. I am one lucky Breast Cancer Survivor!!! God Bless...

Amy
Washington Township, MI
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