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my rocky road to recovery

Hi my name is amanda and felt my story would be helpful to other's that have or had breast cancer.my uncertainties started when I noticed changes in one of my nipples.the colour had changed and it became very ichy.after noticing some yellow discharge I went to the doctors who said it may be an infection in the milk ducts . antibiotics were prescribed.

There was a slight improvement , however months later I noticed this problem getting worse and there was blood stained discharge coming from the nipple.

after a 2nd visit to the doctor I was sent for a mamagram and scan.

this test found no evidence of anything untoward and after 2 weeks during a follow up appointment at the hospital , the word pagents disease of the nipple was mentioned.a biopsy was needed there and then due to changes in the nipple.the consultant reassured me it may simply be eczema or this pagents disease. This was a rare cancer.the word cancer scared me but I was hopeful once the consultant informed us it was treatable.

another 2 weeks of waiting for the biopsy results which confirmed it was this pagents.

a date was given for an operation to remove the nipple and areola. Once this was removed the consultant said that would be the end of it.

the operation was done and it was confirmed they had found a tumour also in the breast. My world fell

apart when they told me the tumour was aggressive

And her2 positive. After consideration I opted for a mascetony. After an 8 hr operation they found another tumour and widedpread cancer cells.

im now having chemo . radiotherapy and taking part in trial which I will have a new drug.my life is upside down.im on a rollercaster and gutted I have had to cancel my wedding in mexico. I recently started to lose my hair so ive taken control and shaved it off.

The key to this terrible disease is to take the control back .stay positive and focused and kick cancers ass

amanda phillips
stoke on trent, United Kingdom

I'm Too Young to Have Breast Cancer

I had just turned 31 and one morning I felt something strange on my right breast. My husband insisted I visit my doctor but I thought to myself, "I'm too young". A few weeks later I went to get checked and underwent a biopsy, since it was Holy Week Holiday the results took longer than usual to get back. To make a long story short, it came back positive to "Infiltrating Duct Carcinoma". I had a radical mastectomy, my nodes were removed, I went through chemotherapy and radiation. My husband got laid off but it was a blessing because he was there for my children and myself. I had to go back to work but everyone there was very understanding. Today I'm celebrating 25 years cancer free!!! I praise The Lord for He has made me strong and added so many beautiful years. I've lived to see my grandchildren and come June I'll get to me meet my great grand son! Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

Mildred Vega
Guayanilla, PR

My story - Donna

I turned 40 in April 2009

I had been sure feeing shoulder pain for a while due to an old injury but said to my dr can I have a mammogram as there is cancer in my family. She organised a date ( much to the displeasure of the clinic as I was TOO YOUNG )

I had the scan, had to have a biopsy and got a call back - Friday 13th November 2009

So first surgery December times 2 as it had grown fast since the diagnosis

Then the chemo, which I only managed 2 courses as it was making me too sick to have any more

Then radiation and a hysterectomy because my cancer was hormone fed

I turn 45 today - scarred but alive

I am waiting for reconstruction surgery to fix my "good boob" but I am happy... Alive... And ME

Donna
Beaudesert, Australia

23 to life

Hello, my name is Elovesb. When I was 18 I enlisted into the military. When I was one month past my 19th birthday I had my first lumpectomy. I was diagnosed with "pre cancerous cells" to this day it still confuses me. I was lucky, I took a pill that made me miserable for almost 2 years (I quit, I couldnt take the pain the pill caused). Almost 4 years went by with regular exams and self breast exams. I turned 23 and 2 months later I was scheduling my double mastectomy. I had another lump. On January 8th I lost both my breasts. Ive got a new lease on life and other than some obvious body issues (you find a good bathing suit that hides the indention) I couldn't be happier I still have some pain and a few strange things to get use to but life could have been alot worse. I could have lost my life I could have lost everything. Instead I gained a new perspective and an anger for people wearing the pink ribbon and stare at my chest. (Went to Ihop and they really did stare a whole family coming back from a walk for the cure ohh the irony) I dont mind the questions at least I can let people know that the age range isnt always right and if I save just one girl like me by telling her she needs to check I will be happy.

Anonymous
san Antonio, TX

My Walk Through Cancer

In 2011 I was diagnosed with category five breast cancer. I knew from the begining that this journey was going to be hard.

But I put all my trust in God and I knew it was done. When my Dr. told me I had infiltrating ductal carcinoma,wow what now?

I had 4 rounds of cemo,then surgery,not knowing when I went in if I was going to have to have a masectomy,or what,turns out I did not,had a lumpectomy, they removed a cancer that was larger than 5cmm,and 19 lymph nodes 11 of which tested hot for cancer. After surgery they decided I needed 2 more rounds of cemo because of the nodes. Then I had 37 rounds of radiation. If not for the help and support of my family and my amazing God I would not of made it through the ruff times. I was told that they gave me a less than 10% chance to survive. This May the 27th,3 days afer I turn 66 it will be 5yrs. cancer free . It did not defeat me and you too can fight it. If you have been given this diagnose's,or know of anyone who had been told they have cancer,I would be happy to help in anyway I can, God had really laid it on my heart to do what ever I can. Just message me on my FB page.MARY WILLIS. May God Bless You.

Mary Willis
Cross Plains, TX

Unwanted Road Traveled

I always knew this day would come since my mom & grandmother both had breast cancer. I just never thought it would come at age 35. I had a 22 month old son & almost 4 year old daughter. So I have way to much to live for to let

Stage IV IDC take my life. I was estrogen & progesterone positive & BRCA II positive with mets to multiple lymph nodes & my lower spine. My lump was less than 2mm & was not palpable at my yearly exam in May. I felt like this mass appeared over night when I found it 7-13-13. From there my life became a whirlwind of doctors appt's & tests.

I had chemo from 8-6-13 to 12-17-13

4 rounds of AC & 12 rounds of Taxol. Then I had a bilateral mastectomy with 12 lymph nodes removed on 1-30-14 & a radical hysterectomy 2-12-14. I haven't skipped a beat. After only a few weeks of healing I had 6 weeks of radiation. Which by far has been the worst part of treatment. I was doing ok till week 5 & 6. The radiation has left my skin raw & I've been in tremendous pain. They say it heals fast. I just completed it on 4-11-14, so lets bring on the healing.

Next I will have a PET scan & decided how we are going to treat my lower back L4, L5 & S1 is where the cancer spread. The chemo did a tremendous job on it so I'm hopefully we won't have to do anything & just watch it closely.

This has been one of the longest unwanted roads I've never wanted to travel. Overall i have kept a very positive attitude. You have to be positive to fight this horrible disease. I know God is good & miracles do happen. I am gonna be that miracle & be cured from stage IV breast CA.

I also have had amazing support along the way. I couldn't have done it without each & everyone one of you by my side😘

Nicole
Orlando, FL

4 year survivor!

Hi, my name is Carla and I was diognosed with breast cancer in May of 2010. I found the lump myself. I had a Lumpectomy July 2010, radiation, then chemo. With a high family history of breast cancer,( Aunt on my dad's side, 3 cousins, which 1 died, I went to be tested for the Heriterity Breast/Overian Cancer Gene. I was tested positive. It was passed from my dad. Both of my sisters & 1 brother were tested positive also. 1 brother & 1 sister were negative. Also both of my daughters are positive, 3 cousins so far, & a few nieces at this posting. I wish I would of been tested before any treatment because I would of opted to just have bilateral mastectomies. Ladies, if you know that you have a high risk of breast cancer in your family, & you were diognosed with breast cancer get tested first. You can save yourself from going through some surgeries or treatments. I had my implants in for about a year and a half, and started to develope capsular contracture. That's scar tissue that grows around the implants and they get hard. Well as of April 10, 2014, I had the implants taken out and I'm glad I did. I know I'm not looking pretty, but I rather be healthy and comfortable in my own body. By the way, my insurance covered the Genetic testing. I have BCBS Insurance. I just want to wish any of you ladies the best of luck going through your treatments. Stay STRONG & POSITIVE! You can get through this! God Bless you all!

Carla Gress
Wheatfield, NY

52 year old with male breast cancer

I am a 52 year male with stage three breast cancer. In late October I felt pain coming from my underarm area. I went to the dr. The next day and that's when my life changed for ever. I was then sent for some embarrassing test for a man. Well after several test all coming back inconclusive they did a biopsy removal. Meaning they removed the lumped and what had happened is a resently got a new tattoo and the ink from it upset the tumor and that's the pain I felt. So after that I was told I had stage three breast cancer. I have since been through five rounds of chemo numerous injections to combate my dead white sells. I also had a mastectomy as well as the removal of 15 limp nodes. This Friday I have chemo for the last time and then start six weeks of radiation. I have good and bad days some times just wanting to stop doing the chemo but the support team I have keep picking me up to fight again. This is my third time writing on here and for the most part the reason I post my personal journey is to try to inform people as well as breast cancer awareness themselves that their should be more information and co-sex info so other men with breast cancer aren't so left in the dark. Thank you for reading this this.

Anonymous
Bakersfield, CA

Those were the crazy days!

At 20 years old, I thought I was invincible. At 20 years old, you do not worry about things like breast cancer, you worry about boys and university assignments. I had been 20 for three months when I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma on Wednesday 11th September, 2013.

Despite the fact that I had had a lump for a while before that, I never assumed that it would be anything other than a cyst, and I think it shocked everybody (me, my family, my doctors). I had to attend a number of appointments; consultants, geneticists, psychologists.

Despite the fact that no faulty genes were picked up, my high family history of breast cancer and Acute Myloblastic Leukaemia meant that having chemotherapy and radiotherapy would put me at risk of developing further cancers, so we decided that a bilateral mastectomy was the best way forward - one side diagnostic, the other prophylactic as I would otherwise have about an 81% chance of recurrence.

So on the 6th November 2013, I said ta-ta to my tatas. I hated the thought of losing this element of my femininity, particularly so young, but I knew that it would save my life, and in a way that empowered me. I had immediate reconstruction, and despite a couple of complications, all is well. On 17th December, I also had an axillary node clearance due to local spread. In total, 4 of 27 nodes were affected. Although this means my cancer was quite advanced, I was lucky that so few contained metastasis.

I was put on tamoxifen and zoladex, but reacted badly, and I am waiting for a fertility appointment before we take the next step.

I have spent the time since my operations getting back to the things I love and trying to achieve my dreams. It has made me realise how fragile life is. As hard as this journey has been, life is getting back to normal and am me again!

Vashti
Lincoln, United Kingdom

The beginning...

On Januany 24th I sat in a cold room alone waiting to speak to a who I found out later was a surgeon. He explained to me that he strongly felt like I had Cancer. I did not want to claim it though I knew the chances were High I had noticed the lump months before and yes I was very afraid. But I was also a single mom with no insurance just barely making it. The kids had a government funded insurance but none for me I just couldn't afford it. A few days later it was confirmed I was diagnosed with stage 2b Breast Cancer. It had already spread to my Lymphnodes...God Help Me!!! I am telling you my story to bless someone. Too many women are dying from this disease we have to do better if you are my age and have not had a mammogram...GET ONE....PLEASE!!! Because I did not want loose my chance of medical coverage because of this being considered a preexisting condition I waited. Now I am fighting for my life. You are worth me telling my story. You are worth saving. Whatever it takes get checked. Monthly breast exams that you perform are not enough. Go have a mammogram done...and you keep praying for me cause I don't plan on going anywhere. Love you...God loves you more. In obedience to him I share this with you.

Colette
Houston, TX
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