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I Will Get Through This

It was not a hoax. It was not a practical joke either. It was real. My doctor told me with a very calm voice, “The results are not good. It is cancer.”

I found lump on my right breast sometime in January 2014. I initially ignored it thinking that it was just a simple cyst and it would go away. I finally decided to have it checked and underwent a series of tests. The ultrasound showed two tumors and results show that it was suspicious of an invasive malignancy. I was referred to a breast specialist and was advised to go for mammogram and a biopsy of the tumors. I received a call from the hospital asking me to see my breast surgeon two days earlier than my original appointment. It did not feel right but I ignored the negative feelings I was feeling that time. I remained optimistic.

It was April Fool’s Day of 2014 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My life was never the same again. It became a turning point in my life that made me realize how precious the life given by my Creator is and I continued to be grateful despite my ordeal. Being human I do feel fear but the Lord has been my comfort and His peace reminds me that He is control of my life. I have never felt so loved by my family and friends. The outpouring prayers and support from them is just unimaginable.

I had surgery in May and I am now on my last cycle of AC chemotherapy. I still have a long way to go in my succeeding treatments but God has been sustaining me since the beginning of my treatment. God’s assuring love and joy is my strength. His Word is my constant source of hope and I know that with God’s help I will get through this.

Mary Eline Zaldivar Baclig
Singapore, Singapore

1 mother 4 brothers

I was 31 with 4 young sons when I found 1 of four lumps didn't know yet that it was also in almost all of my lymph nodes under the arm...my reaction of devastation is an understatement. It's amazing what you can do when faced with fight or die so I fought and am now 10 years cancer free...the support and care from family friends and a great medical staff will be forever appreciated. To the 4 young brothers that call me mom..you're my light and the reason I'm a strong woman today..thank you!

Rebecca baumberger
mansfield, OH

survivor

Back last year February 2014 I was diagnosed with breast cancer grade 3 I had a lumpectomy reconstruction where the surgeon cut 8 inches down the side of me to remove tissue and fat to preform surgery I was in theatre for 4 hrs I had 2 drains attached to me .I was sent to the ward I was put in to a side room where I stayed for 2 weeks I had a lot of problems followed by pain.After leaving hospital I was so glad to get home I was in a lot of pain but I wanted to show that I was coping but struggled as I was in a lot of pain.After 2 months I had 6 weeks of radiotherapy I had to travel 40 miles per day 5 days a week .

I thought my life was on the mend when crash I went down with exhaustion ,I was so tearful I couldnt pick my self up at all my life had changed in many ways I felt like I was a failer to my children.my family did support me but I felt guilty because I was to tired to do any thing and the tears would just poored out.I went through so much pain but I am thank ful that I am here today to tell my story ,I like to say I had a very good consultant and surgeon and nurses at the parapet king Edwards hospital who had put me back together again.Think positive and life will be kind to you that is what I did and I came through I will again if I ever get it recurring.

karen baker
slough, United Kingdom

My wife Maureen My Love

I wish You were still dancing with Me

When I first Met you girl it was Smiles all the time We were enjoying Our life .We Hold each other tight till the Daylight

I Could Feel Our Love so strong Nothing Ever Went Wrong, And We would dance Together All night Long

You are The Love of My Life

As the days Went By The days Turned To years and Then One terrible Day Turned Into tears

When Cancer struck You Down It was saddest Days Of our years . And i watched our lives Come tumbling down

Cancer Took all our Joy But you stayed so strong And we were Loosing everything That we Loved so Long

as Your tears Seem To Fall More Every day' I held You tight And i dreamed For Better days. I Hoped Some Day That we would dance again All Night long

And My love You surviving Gave Me such Hope and Joy, Your Still Here And alive But It Took such a Toll' Were Are the smiles I Use to Know

i watched our lives Come tumbling down It will never be the same Like when we Stay Up And danced all Night Long

Loosing everything made Us Question Our Faith But I still Pray To god and Thank Him That He Let You stay

I will Never Forget All that you went Thru I I will always Be here I will never Leave you Or Let You fell alone

Your The Love of My Life Please Smile again and i wish With all My heart. you were still dancing With Me again All Night Long even If I cant dance

This for My wonderful wife Love you Baby always, in the pic above is my wife Maureen miller and local personally jay towers

Donald Miller
Taylor, MI

too young for breast cancer

Dec. 2011. Your only 37, your too young for breast cancer,(2) professionals told me. It is just a cyst. That's when 2 years of my life disappeared.Or so I thought..June 2012 I went to my doctor and said I don't care if it is a cyst.it is bigger now and I look like I have 2 nipples on one breast.July13,2012, had surgery..one week later I am back in my surgeons office..he says it's not a cyst..it's cancer. I went from cyst to cancer to clean the margins and radiation to know I must have a bilateral mastectomy because of a bracca gene. Oct.16,2012 bilateral mastectomy with tissue expanders.those too failed.started chemo and forgot about surgery for a while.I just worked and took care of my family.everyday people at work would say.."why are you working" I said.because I am not letting this beat me.I want to see my kids and future kids smiles. I finished chemo July 2013. Dec. 2103 I had the diep flap surgery. May 2104 I had my nipple reconstruction. I just need some tattooing and I am complete.I almost feel back to normal,thanks to my family and the best surgeon and his assistant in the world.

Rhonda Marks
Brooklyn, NY

My Murphy's law story

For my 45th birthday I received a call from my doctor, he had no clue it was my bday. Non-invasive ductal carcinoma in my left breast. From that day forward I chose to do what my doctors suggested. I became a super patient, I listened, I read, I changed my eating habits and I stepped up my faith walk. Hey! I was a single working mom of 2. My daughter a college graduate, was seeing a man who'd eventually be her husband and my son was in his sophomore year of college. I'd worked for the government for over 25 yrs and had no clue what this journey would be like. I wanted to live, be healthy again and get back to life as I knew it. From the onset of my treatment plan things weren't easy. During surgery my doctors found out I had shallow breathing and they had to perform an intubation. In recovery I was given morphine and discovered I am allergic to it, my arm had swollen like the nutty professor. During my first round of chemotherapy and after not being told to take precautions in my surroundings and germs that abound, I ended up suffering from pneumonia, it would take a total of 3 months, tons of steroidal cough medicine and 43 lbs weight gain. By my 2nd course of radiation my chemotherapy needle hadn't been placed in my vein correctly, it infiltrated my vein and caused a horrific burn, blood clot and collapsed vein in my right arm. Subsequently for 22 months my treatment plan had all the severe side-effects every step of the way. As I journaled and photographed my entire treatment, it became so increasingly therapeutic that it became a book, due out this year. HER2+ a real look into the non Hollywood, difficult be doable cancer treatment. The real story told the way a patient should hear it. I am a survivor, I've been through the fire, my faith sustained me and I live to tell others it can be accomplished. My name is Kym Renee Keyes

Kym R. Keyes
Rialto, CA

SAGE'S PRESCRIPTIONS

I was diagnosed with breast cancer, estrogen + and HER2Nu +, for my birthday in February 2010. Here are some prescriptions that I received that I know can help anyone on his / her cancer journey:

1. FAITH - can't have enough of that. He will be with you and will carry you when you can't find the strength to stand on your own. Romans 15:13.

2. ATTITUDE / LIVE FOR TODAY - We never know when or how we will die, but we can choose how to live. Attitude is such a positive.

3. SLEEP - don't fight it. As we sleep, we are healing.

4. LAUGHTER:

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed that she had only three hairs on her head. "Well, I think I'll braid my hair today." She did and had a wonderful day.

The next day, she saw that she had only two hairs and said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today." She did and had a grand day.

The next day, she noticed that she had only one hair and said, "I'm going to wear a pony tail today." She did and had a fun day.

The next day she didn't have a hair on her head. She said, "Yippeeee--I don't have to fix my hair today."

Then she put on her Sparkle Cap, went to town and wowed everyone!

5. PRAYER - Prayer is the key to the morning and the bolt on the door at night.

It is not an easy journey, and each one of has to find her way, but we are NOT alone. On my journey, I started The Sparkle Caps Project (on FB), so that God could use me to help other women coming behind me. We have helped over 900 women and 4 men in less than 4 years.

Susan "Victorious" Heimbigner
Sumter, SC

From Young Breast Cancer Survivor too Tough Mudder

Hi, My name is Pam and I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer 3 years ago at the age of 27.. I am married have 2 children age 1 and 3 at the time and had chemo, double mastectomy, radiation, & reconstruction. (I previously shared my story of treatment)

In May 2014 I was sick of being tired and weak all the time I had always been very athletic and all these treatments had taken a toll. I decided I could either sit & do nothing about it or plan a goal and work hard too attain it. I signed up for the Tough Mudder and trained hard for 4 months doing 5am workouts while my kiddos were asleep. I went from not being able to do one push up to doing over 30.

I finished Tough Mudder last weekend and the feeling is indescribable. My husband and I did this run called possibly the toughest on the planet. It was 10 miles and contained 20+ military based obstacles, including 12 foot walls, 30 foot drops into water, icewater plunges, electric shocks, inclined monkey bars and tons and tons of mud. I unfortunately lost the sole of my shoe around the 1st mile and by mile 5 my knee was throbbing but I was determined to finish so I finish the last 5 miles and did every obstacle! (I now have a sprained knee) The team work astonished me as strangers helped each other to make it to the finish cheering each other on. I had men and women help pull me up walls and out of the mud when I fell. I'm here to tell you we can do anything we put our minds too! Never let anyone tell you any different. I plan on doing this again next year and a bunch of new things.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? The speaker challenged us and now I challenge all of you try something new every week whether it be large or small because nobody is guaranteed tomorrow!

Pamela Meads
Sanford, ME

Shocked with a breast cancer diagnosis at 26 years old

I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer at age 26, five months after the birth of my first daughter. When I went to my post-partum check up, my OB found a lump. On January 23, 2006 I went back to the surgeon for the results of my biopsy, and he uncomfortably let me know that the tumor was malignant. Because the tumor was too large for a lumpectomy, and I was not ready for the though of losing my breast, I began my first round of chemo. I lost my hair two and a half weeks later. The tumor shrunk, and on May 16 I had my lumpectomy. The lumpectomy was not successful, and on October 26, 2006, the surgery was performed. Over the next six years, I underwent a total of seven further surgeries to put permanent implants in, fix an infection, replace deflated implants, biopsy a new lump that appeared on top of the implant after the birth of my second daughter, and have the reconstruction re-performed due to issues with the first reconstruction. Through the course of this process, my marriage crumbled. I went through emotions I never thought I would feel, and grew into a person I never thought I had the ability to become. The strength I found in myself amazed me, and I am a person today that I am proud of, and that I hope my children can be proud of.

Mindy Matthews
Medford, OR

Woman, wife, mother, warrior

My name is Shannon, but my husband calls me “Mimzy”. I am 34, married and have a daughter that is 6 years old. I hadn’t been feeling well in at the end of June of 2014 and went to the doctor for a blood test the following month. He found elevated liver enzymes and requested a CT scan. That same afternoon he called us in and told me they happened to find a mass on my left breast and metastatic spots on my liver and bones. A week later I was diagnosed officially with stage IV invasive ductile carcinoma, estrogen positive, progesterone positive and HER2 positive. The doctors are certain which therapies my cancer will respond to and are positive that they can put the cancer into remission. For each treatment and cancer appointment, I have worn a Beatles shirt. They are shirts I have owned or that have been given to me. At the end of the journey, I will turn all my shirts into a victory banner quilt. I have completed 10 rounds of radiation and will begin my first round of chemo on Aug 29th. I have maintained a warrior-mentality. I have bad days, but then I pick myself up and remind myself why I must fight and press on. My faith sustains and grants me grace to fight. I am so thankful for the family and friends have joined TEAM MIMZY. I had gone recently to a family reunion and my family members were all wearing “team mimzy” shirts. It is so encouraging to have the strength of others to draw from when you are running low some days. My favorite quote for my battle is: “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” –Jimmy Valvano.

Shannon Lewis
Erie, PA
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