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Never a Doubt

My name is Cynthia and my journey started in January 2014. In self examination I felt a hard mass in my left breast. I knew it was cancer before diagnosis, however, me and my girls were celebrating our 60th birthdays with a trip to South Africa in March, so I chose to wait till I returned to have it checked. Upon return from this awesome trip, I went to my PCP and told her about the mass. She sent me for mammogram immediately, and needle biopsy which confirmed my suspicion. When they told me that I had breast cancer, my response was "I know, now let's get it out". My Oncologist had to laugh. Not surviving never entered my mind. I had a 60th birthday party with a DJ, dance instructor and the whole nine yards. I knew the rest of the year was going to be rough. I endured 8 rounds of chemo. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. It took me down to a level I never knew. Losing my hair was not trauma to me. Hair will grow back and I kind of like this new style. I survived and celebrated the last round in August. I had a lumpectomy and bilateral breast reduction in October. Something good comes out of every aspect of life. I had humongous Boobs and was more than happy to give up 2/3 of them. I am now scheduled to have 33 rounds of radiation and I will be done. My God is Awesome. My hair is growing back beautifully and I wake up every mornng praising God for being here and for feeling better than I every have. I think sometimes we have to go through something to appreciate what we sometimes take for granted.

Cynthia Flowers
Atlanta, GA

Story of Faith

my name Pam and I'm 42 years old. I was diagnosed with stage 2 her2 in June 2014 on my 15th wedding anniversary. I just finished chemo and I'm getting ready for surgery in December. Over the last five months I've grown deeper in my relationship with God and my husband. God has been faithful to me and my family. He has given me strength to fight this and show my teenage daughter to never give up. I'm so thankful to my family, friends and my church. I'm still on the road to fight this and have a long way to go but having God right by me is what's making my journey worth it. I pray that each person reading this gives glory to God. I'm praying for all my sisters..

Pamela Stephens
Fresno, CA

My mother is Wonder Woman

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2013 right before I was expecting my second child's birth. Torn and confused we began this journey together, I was her and still am her biggest fan and supporting system. To me breast cancer, or any cancer is not just a fight for the one affected because we are all affected. We, the supporters, are what keeps them fighting. My mother had her right breast removed, then this year the cancer has spread and is affecting many other parts of her body. My mother lives in constant pain and even though I am now 3600 miles away from her I am still hand in hand with her fighting for the day her light shines through. Shes a tough woman, and I will be home soon. Even after her doctors told her she will never work again, and that this was going to get her, she has NEVER stopped believing in me and me in her. Nothing matters more than her continuous effort. She is my heroin, and we will never give up. Every day shes in pain, but that pain just gives her more of a reason to push on through this for that day shes no longer in pain. I love her so much and am SO proud of her.. shes not letting this get her down. ♡

Kaitlyn Miller
Bee spring, KY

It was not easy but I made

So I do I begin well July 5,2013 I go to the E.R. My breast had a lumb and they run some tests on me .when they were finish I was told I had to see a specialize . So on July 8 I go see a see the doc and long and be hold was not good . He told me I had to get a biooply done . So on July 10 I got my bio done . Waiting to find out what was going on was driving me crazy . So on July 15 I go back to the doc office wow I was in shock when I was told I had breast cancer . I CRYED so hard I just forgot everything . The dic give me a min to catch myself . He told me my options so I went with taking it off the whole breast .So in Aug I had my surgery . It was not easy losing a breast but I did it . I had a month to heal and the following month Oct I started CHEMO . WELL LET'S JUST SAY CANCER DIDNT KILL ME CHEMO ALMOST DID. I had 6 months of chemo I was a stage 4 cancer . The only help I had was my family and some friends to help me fight this . Every time I got chemo I would end up in the hospital for a week . I am bless to still be alive Amen . Am still not done yet I still have a few more surgery to go . I will come back and let you know how I am doing . God bless you all.

Kissimmee, FL

early detection

A little over 6 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. There was no lump it only showed up on a mammogram. Thanks to early discovery I was able to have the area removed and have radiation 2 times a day for one week. I go to my mammogram appointments faithfully I am still on tamoxifen ,with few side effects. I am so grateful for the early diagnosis and prompt treatment. When I read other peoples journey with their cancer I am eternally thankfull I had great doctors who helped me make the decisions I needed to make. Lots of prayers answered

Yukon, OK

I Had Skipped Having a Mammogram

I had been afraid of having a mammogram because so many of my Aunts had breast cancer. I know that doesn't make sense, but fear is often not based on reason. Finally, my husband noticed a large lump in my left breast. I couldn't go into further denial and pretend it wasn't there. We went to my internal medicine doctor who immediately ordered a mammogram and an ultrasound. I had those done the next day. The next afternoon I had I needle biopsy, on the mass, and 8 punch biopsies. Thankfully, the 8 punch biopsies came back as benign. However, the needle biopsy revealed that I had a compound cyst. Underneath the cyst, they found "abnormal" cells. I had a lumpectomy to remove the cyst and the suspicious area and 33 radiation treatments. I was lucky. I had non-invasive ductal carcinoma in situ. Last week I went for my first mammogram after completing radiation (it had been 6 months). After both a mammogram and an ultra sound, I was relieved to hear that I was cancer free. I was scared to have my first mammogram, but I am so thankful that I had it and was able to catch my cancer very early. Even though I am terrified of mammograms, I will faithfully have them for the rest of my life.

Phoenix, AZ

...Miraculously, she survived

On January 11, 2013 I was confronted with a fight for life I never dreamed I'd face... that day I was going for a routine checkup because a book had fallen on chest above my left breast. I was close to my annual mammogram so my doctor suggested I have it done early. A week later I was told of a discoloration and "suspicious lump" on my left breast and a biopsy was scheduled.

On January 17, 2013 I received the results and heard the two words "Breast Cancer". From that point my life became a tailspin first with Chemotherapy completing only 9 of scheduled 12 weeks the included: loss of hair; skin peeling on arms, legs and feet; finger and toe nails lifting from skin, neuropathy and unable to walk. On August 8, 2013 I had mastectomy of left breast followed by 6 weeks of radiation.

December 17, 2013 I was declared "Cancer Free" (which I consider being in remission for the rest of my life). This was followed by 12 weeks of physical therapy to learn to walk and maintain my balance. I can no longer live by myself because of unbalanced walking and 24/7/365 neuropathy pain in hands, feet and legs. I thank God for his grace and mercy as he completed this journey with me by placing a great family, medical staff, church members, friends and local network support group in my path of recovery. I am so blessed to see my three grandkids, daughter, son-in-law, sisters, mother and friends. By the way my Mother is a 45 year breast cancer survivor!

Joyce M. Justice
Missouri City, TX

I Knew Before It Was Ever Confirmed

July 2014. After skipping my annual mammogram for almost 2 years, I knew it was breast cancer from the time the first result came back abnormal (even though I hadn't felt any lumps). Breast cancer runs in my family so I was not surprised, after additional mammograms, ultra sounds, and a needle biopsy, when I was told I had Stage 1 Invasive Ductal and Lobular Cancer (hormone positive, HER2 negative) in my right breast.

Sept. 2014. I opted for a double mastectomy with free flap reconstruction. (I had to travel to a hospital over an hour away as no surgeons in my area perform this type of reconstruction). On the day of my discharge from the hospital I was informed that the one 12mm tumor I was believed to have had was actually five tumors (the largest being 18mm) plus 2 cancerous sentinel lymph nodes (one of which the cancer had broken through to the outside) (all on the left side). Upgraded to Stage 2.

Nov. 2014. After 2nd opinions at another hospital and many discussions of my case at both hospitals (individually), I will finally be starting chemo within the next 2 weeks (at the original hospital I had my surgery performed at). Approximately 5-6 months of chemo will be followed by intense radiation. Tomorrow my daughter and I go shopping for head scarves (I have chosen not to wear a wig) as I will not have any hair for the holidays. I will be choosing bold, bright colors and patterns that inspire and motivate. Phase 2 of my treatment is just beginning, but I WILL WIN!

I have been blessed with family and friends who have come forward to support me, provide me with strength, embrace me with love, and never let me forget that I am not alone. There is no better team than that!

Lynn Guiles
Wyomissing, PA

my destiny

Last year I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer stage 3. I have the gene which I got from my mother. My mother was 27 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she died at 32. I also have 4 aunts who also died from breast cancer with 10 years. I wanted to give up but my family wouldn't let me. When I was taking chemotherapy all my hair fell out and I was ashamed to go outside,but after a while u got used to it and I actually look good with a bald head. I just thank god I still alive.

Elizabeth magsby
little rock, AR

A Decade of Survival

On November 19, 2014 marks my 10th anniversary of being Breast Cancer Free! I was only 27 years old when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.

My obgyn doctor found my lump during a routine exam. Due to my young age I was told not to worry it was most likely a fibrosis tumor (non cancerous). My mammogram revealed 2 additional lumps but I was still told to not be alarmed it was not uncommon for young girls to have multiple fibroids at one time.

At this point I was freaking out. My biopsy revealed that 2 of the lumps were fibroids but the 3rd tested positive for cancer. I was devastated and remember crying all night after getting the news. My daughter was only 22 months old and all I could think about was not seeing her grow up and wondering if she would remember me if I passed away.

My battle was long and hard. Even though I had my entire breast removed and went thru 6 rounds of chemo I was still only given a 55% survival rate. Thanks to early detection, an aggressive treatment plan and God's grace I was able to beat cancer.

Im sharing my story with you to encourage and inform you that cancer is not a death sentence. With early detection it is treatable and survivable! Getting your regular check ups, doing self exams and knowing your family history are all important things that we all should be doing. Be PROACTIVE when it comes to your health!

R. Burfict
Sacramento, CA
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