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I am a Survivor. !!!!

I had always been a very healthy lady, taking my vitamins, exercising and eating right.

And yet on March 2012 at 62, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, on the right side..

I was given the choice of a lumpectomy , removal of the right breast or I could have a bilateral mastectomy . After much prayer, crying and sharing with my family, I had the

Bilateral mastectomy on April 23 and had the expanders put in at the same operation..

Next week, I had to see an oncologist for the biopsy results...I was told that I definitely had made the right choice.. Cancer cells were found in my left breast and I would had been facing this again if I had not made the right choice....I give God all the glory for this..

I had prayed and received the peace I needed.. Recovery was hard and I stayed in pain and stayed sick a lot..I started having hot flashes every 10 minutes and I had already been through menopause.. Was put on Effexor which was another answered prayer..hot flashes stopped almost immediately...my immune system was low so therefore I caught the flu, viruses and anything that was going on...I also started having bladder infections, now I take a pill daily for that..

Next came the implants, which turned out to be very ugly and painful...my right implant stayed under my arm and swollen most of the time. I was not happy and decided to see another surgeon. She removed old implants and placed new ones in and also sewed my skin beside the Implant to my rib cage hoping to keep it in place...but this did not work either... Right implant still swells under arm and stitches did not hold..

Later came the nipple reconstruction and the tattoo nipple..

My breast are not very attractive, I still stay sick a lot and in pain, but I am a Survivor...I thank my Jesus first, my family and friends....

Anita Gensler
Waterloo, SC

I WAS AMONG THE 3% !

As a 10 year Cancer Survivor (Uterine and Ovarian) I always felt extremely blessed. But in late January 2013 I found a very tender spot on the upper part of my right breast. I thought I simply had a bruise. After a quick review of WebMD - I was a bit relieved that 97% of these sore spots turn out to be cysts - ONLY 3% are Cancerous. After a few days I decided to get my General Practitioner involved. Since I couldn't get an appointment with him I went to his PA. She decided to send me in for an ultrasound just in case. Within a few days, I had a diagnosis of Cancer - Ductile carcinoma. Now I was headed to the Breast Surgeon - I could now get a handle on my prognosis.

Dr. K provided me with lots of info and options. My tumor was Triple Negative so I was facing a more aggressive treatment then some. I also had an additional mass in my left breast - pre-cancerous, so I took my BC Info Book and headed home to discuss it all with my husband of 12 years. One more bridge to cross - was I a CANCER MAGNET or what?

After reviewing the info we decided a bilateral mastectomy gave me the best chance for a future without recurrence.

So on March 27th, I had surgery and expanders were placed for future reconstruction. I then went through 8 Chemo Treatments with minimal side effects. The help and all the prayers from our family members and friends helped pull me through it. But the most exciting part - besides knowing how fortunate I was; on September 3rd - my hubby and I left for Kauai to Dog-sit for a couple of friends, a commitment we made to them in 2012. It was the best Recovery Time anyone could have asked for. A MONTH on Kauai with my best friend, a couple of sweet doggies and even my daughter from CA came for a week. So - I WAS and AM TRULY BLESSED.

Tyna S Smith
Gobles, MI

Super Hero

Hi, Am Winny from Kenya. My mom passed away last year 29th January 2013 after her breast cancer metastasised to her spine, brain and left tibia. She was my best friend, confidant and just mommy in every sense. I miss her every day. My greatest worry is that my sister or I may inherit the cancer gene since it runs in the family (grandpa-lung cancer, aunt-leukaemia, aunt-colon cancer all from mom's side) Am married 3 yrs but 28 yrs old and the big 30 is slowly creeping in..am just hopping I get kids before my fate befalls me. Please pray for me.

Winny Maina
Nairobi, Kenya

Never too young

I was 26 and had just given birth to my beautiful daughter, everything was prefect, so I thought. A month after I had her I found a lump, no history of breast cancer but I just knew that's what it was. So that was September 2005 and finally by February 2006 they confirmed my fears after being told several times by several doctors that I was too young, I had stage 4 breast cancer.

So after the diagnosis day and feeling sorry for myself for that day, I brushed myself off and tomorrow was a new day I'm going to fight this there is no other way! I'm a little stubborn! :-P

I am proud to say after a double mastectomy and chemo it's been 8 years.

I was married 2 months after my chemo and I'm not only blessed with an amazing husband and daughter, I was also blessed enough to have a little boy three years after my chemo.

It's not always easy, always a little anxiety but I believe I'm a better person and truly appreciate all life has to offer. I am so blessed! :-)

Susan
Oxford, Nova Scotia, AB, Canada

My nipple told a story!

I've always had cystic and fibrous breast tissue, and a annual mammogram was part of my healthy routine. I was 51, a special education administrator, mother of thee grown young men, married 26 years, Zumba instructor enjoying my 50's. As a matter of fact, the year I turned 50 was a great big celebration. A houseboat trip in Kentucky with my high school girlfriends, Dominican Republic with my mom over spring break, a visit to my Dad in Sarasota, Florida with my siblings to celebrate his 80th birthday, Huntsville, Alabama for Thanksgiving with my brother's family, Virginia Beach with one of my lifelong BFF's and her family and friends, and finally, Italy with my sister in May. What a fabulous year! The very next year, however, I was diagnosed with Stage III, lobular carcinoma. Which, somewhat awkwardly, leads back to my nipple. I noticed it was starting to invert (in addition to the usual lumps and humps) and that was my signal to contact my physician for an ultrasound. A mastectomy followed by 8 rounds of chemo. Coming next will be radiation and hormone therapy. Life really is a series of ups and downs. Keep an eye on your nipples, my friends!

Dawn Gallup
BRONSON, MI

An Angel Name Dee Dee

Hi. I am a mother of a young lady who was diagnosed with breast cancer. A mother's, daddy's, grandparent's, children's, brother's, sister's worst nightmare. She is in the recovery room as I am typing, on July 23rd, 2014. You see Dee Dee is a child of God. As a mother, I am thinking why why why ~ why not me? I want to take this terrible disease from her! I can not seem to stop the tears. I am sad that she has to go through this, and the worst is yet to come. She has young boy's and a husband that need her. She is everything to them. We all took it really hard when we heard the word "cancer." Everyone other than Dee Dee. She never complained, she never stopped smiling. See, that is what children of God do. She is a blessing and we all learn from her. She has still not complained. She knows that God is in control, she knows God has got her back. There is a reason Dee Dee has breast cancer, I am sure God is going to use her in a way that is going to be amazing! She is such an inspiration to her church and to her community. Dee Dee is my daughter, but I will have to say, she is beautiful inside and out, and she is a delight to her family and her friends. We all are proud of Dee Dee. I pray that she recovers soon, so that we all can see what is in-store for her. I am excited. God does not put any more on our bodies that what we can handle. God knows how many hairs we have on our head, did you know that? That is how much He loves us. Thank you for taking care of our angel. Mitzi Rubright (Dee Dee's mother.)

Mitzi Farr-Rubright
Lincoln, CA

Faith in God's healing and favor has kept me

I was diagnosed in November of 1998 when I was 33 years old. I will never forget that moment. I felt 2 lumps and I also had a white discharge coming out of my breast. My. Dr. tried to say that I was too young to get a mammogram. However I ended up getting a mammogram and biopsy. The mammogram didn't show the lumpshowever they found 2 lumps and a calcium deposit positive for cancer.. My Dr. called me on Wednesday night to tell me. He then told me he was going out of town, so I requested another Dr. and was scheduled to come in the next morning for surgery. I didn't want to take off work..lol..crazy right. I ended up having surgery that Friday and whi had to wait to weeks to find out if it had spread to my bones or major organs which was a long wait. My Dr. came in and told me that it had not gotten outside of the lump and it was 1 centimeter in size. He then suggested chemo for 4 months with a 5 year Tamoxifen pill. I called my job and told them that I would have to be off work. I didn't have enough sick time at that time and my job donated over a years worth of sick time so I never went without a paycheck. I only took off 2 months, and used the rest for regular follow-ups and my chemo appointments. I went to work every day and only took off Thursday and Friday for my chemo appointment. I continually prayed to God for healing and kept my faith that it wasn't my time. Part of me kept sinking into doubt, but I just kept laughing and smiling all the way through. I never gave up I promised to fight if not for myself for my son. It was not an easy fight. People have no idea what you go through once you have been diagnosed with something so serious. Early detection is the key and keep the faith & smile ;)

Jacqueline G
Shaker Heights, OH

♡FAITH ♡ HOPE ♡ LOVE ♡ STRENGTH ♡ COURAGE ♡

The journey began April 2010 when I felt the lump in my left breast. On June 18th my normal changed. Not only was I a single mom of 3, (filed for divorce) and fighting for the safety of my kids and myself..... now I am fighting for my life to be with my kids. I took the negative and made a lot of positive! Cancer did not have me, never a victim only survivor strong. I did chemo Sept. To Dec. And I worked to support my family during. In Nov. I had my divorce finalized. I had a Double mastectomy Jan. 2011 then radiation. I did not begin reconstruction until June 2012 with a tram flap and a DIEP flap and have not completed due to my kids come first. I tried my hardest to keep the normalcy and got up each day and was there for my kids. I had and still have a great support system with my friends and family. They each had their special way of helping and making me smile and making memories. I wasn't the typical patient. My goal at each Dr. And treatment appointment was to have everyone smile or laugh. I am very THANKFUL & GRATEFUL for my journey. I have learned a lot and have given more. LOVING AND LOVING LIFE as if no tomorrow is guaranteed. My journey continues....side effects are becoming a new normal. My oldest son is in the Air Force, youngest son working and going to college, and my daughter in High School and I continue to work and going to college in the Fall. We just keep moving forward, with a SMILE =)

Janice Krause
Needles, CA

I'm alive because of what YOU DO!

In 1996 at the age of 39, I walked in the Arkansas Race For The Cure in celebration of Charolette Ashley. The women, the energy, the Pink Placards on women's backs, they inspired me. I went home that day & began monthly self exams (BSE). A year later I felt a lump that I KNEW wasn't there the month before. It was small, it was malignant, it was aggressive, and it had to go! A lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemo treatments for 6 months, a lot of prayers and here I am about to turn 57 😊 thanks to the support of my loving husband Joe, my incredible daughter Mollie, family, friends, my Guardian Angel, special ladies Sherrye M & Amy T ! It was hard but I didn't do it alone and I'm a better & stronger person because of the journey. I'M ALIVE BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU DO...THANK YOU!!! 😍

Mindy Baird
Little Rock, AR

My Second Battle With Cancer

Hi my name is Sherry Williamson. I decided to share my story, because today I was asked my story and I inspired her so much I thought maybe I could inspire someone who really needs to be inspired. My first diagnoses came in 2011 right after I broke my back in 5 places. I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in that same month. My cancer was so aggressive that I had one lump in Oct and by Nov there was 8. Then in Dec it had spread to the lymphnodes in my left armpit and under my collarbone. When the decision came I chose to take both breast instead of one. I had a double mastectomy with left axillary dissection. I then followed with the most aggressive chemo and radiation. My health was so deteriorated I almost died in March 2012. But I fought hard, because my kids are my life and I'm all they got. I thought I was done with cancer, but in June of this year I found out I have stage 4 in the breast muscle, 9th rib and lungs. I have pain everyday not only from the cancer, but my other health issues. I have my broken back with nerve damage, fibromyalgia, a bad shoulder that needs surgery, cervical spondylosis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, lymphedema and so on. I was even told recently I may have MS, as I'm showing early signs. Regards of all that I'm facing with my financial burden, health and so on I feel that there's a reason for everything. I was asked "Why did God give you cancer?" I believe God didn't give me cancer. I believe there is a reason, whether it's to inspire someone or something else. I know that God will get me this. I get my strength from God and my two kids. I don't have any family besides my two kids and I have a limited amount of friends. Which means I don't have the support like most people do. So all I ask for is prayers when you read my story.

Sherry Williamson
Columbia Falls, MT
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