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The inspirational stories below are just a sampling of the amazing people in your lives who have experienced breast cancer, and we are happy to be able to honor them here. Tell us your story of courage and love, and inspire other survivors and supporters around the world.
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My story starts this past summer 2013, my right breast started feeling funny,almost like milk was coming in, burning sensation and slight pain. The pain got worse, I took it as hormonal as I am 48 and starting to experience some changes in my periods, etc. I had "missed" my last two mammograms...I was just "too busy". I'm a proud mother of a 13 yr old boy, married to the best guy ever and a successful Realtor. I saw my Dr for my annual pap, it was a Tuesday. After we met, of course he ordered the Mammo, I went that day, they were busy so I put it off another week because I was "too busy to wait". That Thursday at home I did a self exam and swore I felt a lump! I went for my Mammo that next Tuesday, a couple days later I got a call telling me to come back for a 2nd Mammo and ultrasound. That was scary, but all the articles I read stated "most come back normal & cancer doesn't hurt" so I stayed tough. Ultrasound showed an abnormal spot, I was told to meet with a surgeon for a biopsy. After another week of waiting...I heard the words " The biopsy shows you have Breast Cancer". Thank GOD my Husband, Mom and Sister were with me, we all wanted to drop to our knees, he sat with us for a good hour explaining our next move, keeping us positive. With the facts he gave us: 2.8 cm Invasive Ductal Carcinoma...I decided my best option would be to have a partial mastectomy and centinal node biopsy. My surgery was yesterday (Dec. 9, 2013), 19 days after my diagnosis. So now we wait another week for those results before we go to the next stage. My attitude has been great...my usual bubbly self, still working hard, all decorated for Christmas so I can enjoy these next few weeks before starting any treatments this monster throws at me! Fight like a GIRL, We've got this ladies!! God Bless all of us fighting this...Kelly
June 26 , 2010, went for a routine mammogram. A few days later had a call to say that they needed me to come back in to do another mammogram. I thought ok no big deal. The lady that did my mammogram came into my dressing room and showed me my film and showed me what they found and why they were redoing it. They had me come back to do a biopsy and a few days later when my husband and I came back for the results I was devastated when they told me that I had cancer in my right breast. I broke down and cried my husband consoled me but the words cancer, was a death sentence to me. I had Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma ER 75% positive PR 78%, HER2 neu negative. T1b . I had a lumpectomy and 1 lymp node removed that showed no cancer. I did 7 wks of radiation and I was put on Tamoxifen for 5 years , 2 more years to go on the tamoxifen . Thank god It was detected early
On June 22, 2010, at the age of 27, I heard three words that changed my life: “You have cancer.” Immediately after hearing my diagnosis of Triple Negative breast cancer I cried, screamed and pleaded with the Lord to not let the news be true. I interpreted the diagnosis to mean death.
The next few weeks were like an out of body experience filled with numerous doctors’ appointments and tests. My oncologist and surgeon were awesome; they were realistic, yet compassionate. For the next four months, I traveled to Tampa every other Thursday for chemotherapy and would return on Fridays for a neulasta shot to help rebuild my white blood cells. I can remember my first chemo treatment being really hard on my body. I could barely walk or move and was extremely tired. In addition, the neulasta shots caused severe bone pain.
I cut my hair low after my first chemo treatment in hopes of decreasing the emotional pain that I would feel when I would begin to lose my hair. However, the night I scratched my head and my hand had hair in it I thought I would lose my mind…literally. It was a visible sign that I had cancer! I had five surgeries during this process. Two of them had the greatest emotional and mental effect on me: my bilateral mastectomy and partial hysterectomy. After each of these surgeries I felt as if something was taken from me. The physical pain associated with cancer is nothing in comparison to the mental and emotional anguish. Some nights I would wake up and find myself crying and not know why.
Although this journey has been long and filled with a lot of pain inside and out, I am so thankful for it. I am so thankful for my family and friends that I have been blessed with that helped me during this trying time, especially my mother, Gwendolyn Dawson. I’m thankful that God used and is continuing to use me as a testimony to others.
I'm a PROUD cancer SURVIVOR!!
I began experiencing stinging pains in the 12 o'clock position on my left breast May 2013. I ignored it. A month and a half later, a lump appeared. It was about the size of a marble. I've had cyst in my breast my entire life, and since it was tender and painful, I thought that's what it was. In early August, I was changing my bra in front of the mirror and glanced in the mirror. I was horrified to see I had a very large lump in that location and how much it had grown in only two months. It was visible without feeling it! I quickly made an appointment with my doctor. I had a mammogram, and the results came back normal. I then had an ultrasound, which didn't reveal anything new about the mass either. After switching physicians, my surgical oncologist ordered an MRI; and the mass was 5 cm and growing rapidly. The MRI didn't indicate cancer, but a biopsy was needed to confirm. I received my biopsy results on 9-13-13 stating cancer cells were found. I will never forget how I felt when I heard the word cancer. My world stopped. I thought about the fact I had been ignoring this for several months because it was painful and nothing about it indicated cancer.
I had a sentinel node biopsy a few weeks later. 15 nodes were removed; and cancer was found in 5 of them. I have invasive ductal carcinoma, triple negative. Because of the original size of the tumor and the fact that it was in 5 of my lymph nodes, I am stage IIIA. I've had 8 of 12 treatments of Taxol. After Chemo, I will have a full mastectomy followed by radiation and revision surgery. I have a long road ahead of me, but I remain strong for my children. Ladies, please do not ignore lumps because they seem to be okay. We do not all fit into a specific list of symptoms, and a few months can make a huge difference in your diagnosis and treatment options!
My boyfriend's mother was detected with cancer about 2 months ago. She went through a Mastectomy and is now undergoing Chemotherapy. While reading about breast cancer and getting acquainted with the experiences people have, I never realized how prevalent it was and how it impacted so many lives.
They say that "Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles." From the day she was diagnosed with cancer until her most recent chemotherapy session, she has never exhibited any signs of fear or weakness. There has not been a single instant where she has let the illness inhibit her life in any sense.
Recently, she began losing a lot of hair as a consequence of the chemotherapy. She seemed distressed for a very brief period. For us it was one of our fears turning into a reality and we did know how to comfort her. However shortly after, she comforted us by saying that she is definitely getting better hair after this and is looking forward to that! I was at a loss of words; however her statement just reinstated her zest for life.
A few years ago I heard someone say that “a strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug” and this statement has come to life in her case. Her unflinching attitude is resulting in an expeditious recovery. The doctor is amazed and elated at her accelerated recovery and at the same time is drawing inspiration from her as being an epitome of courage.
Everybody wishes to witness a miracle at some point in their lives, and I have been fortunate enough to have been witnessing one over the past few months. The miracle lies not only in the fact that she continues to battle the illness, but more so in the evidence that her astonishing stance towards life has transcended all boundaries of debilities; while setting up glorifying example for everyone around her.
My thoughts and good wishes are with each one of those fighting this illness and with their loved ones.
In Mid June 2013, Val was diagnosed with breast cancer. Cancer can't win with this woman's indomitable spirit.
Val's Facebook page is a veritable journey through the ongoing saga of her fight with breast cancer. Amid her "Fight Like a Girl" and "Hope Matters" postings, are brave photos of her bald head and frank descriptions of her uphill battle with chemo.
But within all of that inspiration and trepidation are comments like this...
When told she had to undergo more chemo treatments, “I am SO glad a word bubble didn't appear above my head, revealing what I was silently saying.... “
Commenting on a nurse approving her bloodwork; "She decided the #'s were good enough for government work (how scary is that!?), so I skipped down the hall to the chemo room."
Commenting on her wardrobe malfunction, "…Oh yeah, and Denise also suggested to me that I might not want to wear blue underwear with pale pink shorts again. Thank you SO much, baby sister, for making me excruciatingly aware of this fashion misstep."
Upon hearing that she could get the chemo treatment despite health challenges; “I fist-pumped my way from the lab to the chemo room. Settled into a recliner, covered myself from my neck to my sandals with my fleece blanket, arranged my Wonder Woman doll and my Kindle on my lap, and had a ridiculously large grin on my face as I awaited the placement of the ridiculously large IV needle into my not so large vein. I am aware that I scare some of the other patients, but whatever... “
Commenting on her new outlook on life; "I'm still the luckiest cancer patient I know. Plenty of time to think, not about Miley Cyrus, the trend this year toward politically correct Halloween costumes so that no one anywhere in the world who does not possess a sense a humor might be "hurt," why chocolate has to contain as many calories as it does, why dust exists -- these are not things I waste time thinking about. "
Wonder Woman and Val - My heroes!
My cancer journey began when I went in for my annual mammogram in 2011. I received a call to return for more images. After the additional imaging I was referred to one of the best breast specialist for a biopsy. The Breast Cancer was confirmed on a Thurs @11:03 am, every word spoken after the devastating words "you have Breast Cancer” was a blur. With everything in me, I believe the cancer was there the prior year & wasn’t detected by ultrasound. Nevertheless I had to focus on what I was facing at that moment. My cancer was removed followed by chemo and radiation.
I met others like me & that renewed my desire to live the remainder of my life healthy. As a Poet/Writer, I am giving back through my passion, to organizations that saved my life by donating a portion of my royalties to the ACS and I Will Survive, Inc. As I continue to promote my books I will support Breast Cancer Awareness through book signings & literary venues that I affiliate with.
I am so grateful & blessed to be alive to receive love from my children, family, friends & FB family. I’ve experienced trying situations, none as difficult as my near death experience after the birth of my youngest daughter & battling & beating breast cancer, I’ve remained positive and kept my faith. Without the love & support of those who truly love me unconditionally, those who have stayed in my life as a constant support then and now, those who I’ve met along the way, I would not have made it this far.
My God is truly Awesome! As I continue my journey as a Poet/Writer I will continue to Live Free-Love Hard, write and share with you. I am strong, I am a fighter & together we can change this complicated world one word, one blessing, one voice at a time!! I used to tell myself I was emotionally broken but still standing, now I simply say that I am open to all of life's possibilities, I am a Survivor!!!
Peace & Perseverance
I was a normal mum busy working raising 4 kids. I was 34 .like most people I would get up have a shower go to work , on this day I woke up and noticed my nipple had a dent in it . I thought nothing of it . the next morning it was like it again. I said to my husband that I must of slept funny as there was a dent in the nipple again. I decided after I finished work that day I would go to the doctor. best choice I made . as I showed the doctor she had a feel and told me she could not feel anything but sent me for a mammogram .wow what a shock 3 lumps in the ducts my heart sank as I knew in my heart I had breast cancer . I had a biopsy the next day and the results were positive . so 2 weeks later my world was upside down as I had a double mastectomy . then came the six rounds of chemo . about a year later I began the reconstruction side now have just had my nipples . if you notice a change no matter how small see a doctor as I did now I get to see my wonderful kids grow up and enjoy growing older with my husband . my name is Shannon and I am a survivor
I am thankful for. . .
1. my diagnosis of breast cancer 3 1/2 years ago;
2. the discovery of Herceptin about 12 years ago, which is used to treat HER2NU+ cancers—before then, there was NO treatment;
3. the answer to my prayer that God use my cancer journey to help other women traveling the cancer road;
4. God leading me to start His project—The Sparkle Caps Project—in 3 years, we have given out over 600 sponsored gift bags of blessings to women battling cancer;
5. my husband Gary, family and friends who supported me on my breast cancer journey;
6. the new friends and acquaintances that I have made because of cancer;
7. the support (in so many ways) and encouragement of others, which lights a fire to my passion to help other women dealing with cancer;
8. the wisdom to listen and the desire to follow my boss’ instructions;
9. the tears that flow too freely and the deep-seated compassion that allows me to pass on God’s love to our Sisters in Pink, Green, Yellow, Black, Burgundy, White, Orange, etc.
10. God, who loves me like no other can.
We are blessed, each of us, in so many ways during our trials. When we get to the light at the end of the treatment tunnel, we experience life with more appreciation; more compassion for others; less judgment (walk a mile in my shoes), and a greater joy for life. We do not know our time on this earth. Our destinies can be shaped by cancer but not determined by cancer.
My journey started August 2013 as I found my lump on a Saturday morning. By Friday of that same week, I'm hearing "I'm sorry but you have breast cancer". I didn't fall apart or burst into tears. God had been preparing me all week to hear this. It's hard to explain but I just knew. Only a few weeks later do I learn that this is the aggressive triple negative BC and I need to move quickly on chemo. I just finished 12 straight weeks of chemo waiting for surgery a week before Christmas and more chemo to follow then radiation. I just do what I got to do. I am a mother of two sweet daughters. I teach the most amazing 3rd graders ever and have family and friends that have my back no matter what. I can do this with God holding my hand and I will be claiming next year that I AM A SURVIVOR!