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Survivors

My son, Henry, 2 yo, was born with the rare Prune Belly Syndrome & Chronic Kidney Disease.

By April 2014, Henry was doing great and we could extend blood tests. Then, the unthinkable happened. Two days later, I found a lump in my breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks later. I had surgery to remove the cancer and lymphnodes. It was a grade 3 cancer. Luckily I caught it early. We were devastated and until I recovered from surgery, I couldn’t even lift my baby.

In August Henry had surgery. There were complications and 2 days later he was transferred to the NPICU. It was very dangerous for me to be in the hospital because of my low white blood cells and risk of infection, but there was no way I was going to be away from my son.

As the months went on, I carried on with my chemo.

Early in November Henry was admitted to the hospital again. And again, it was very dangerous for me to be with him, and I was not allowed to hold him. I had only one chemo session remaining and I needed to stay infection free. He was discharged after 17 days - a birthday I will never forget. His kidney was removed in December.

I started my radiotherapy at the end of December for 4 weeks every day. Although the most aggressive part of the treatment for my breast cancer is complete, I still have to continue other treatment every three weeks. At one of my last appointments, I expressed my recent increase in numbness and tingling in my arm, hand and foot. The doctor wanted me to get a CT of my brain. Needless to say I was completely distraught. To my great relief the scan was clear. Three weeks later, I had my torso scan and it was clear too - I am cancer free!

Last year Henry went through 5 surgeries, some life threatening, and only left his side because of my own surgeries, chemo treatment and radiotherapy.

Lorinda Mamo
San Gwann, Malta

Mother and 3 daughters fight against breast cancer

My mother, Gail, first had breast cancer in 1999. She went through chemotherapy and had a lumpectomy. She was in remission until 2013 when she was diagnosed a second time with breast

cancer. This time she went through chemotherapy again and had a double mastectomy. On top of that she got tested to find out if she was a gene carrier which came back positive for being a carrier. My sister, Tammy, got tested. Her results came back negative for the gene. However, the doctocs found breast cancer in an early enough stage she did not have to have chemotherapy but she did have a double mastectomy. My other sister, Bobbie and I both tested positive for the breast cancer gene and we both had double mastectomy's. My sister's and I also had total hysterectomy's as well because the type of cancer gene we carried also affected that part as well. It is now 2015 and my mother, sister's, and myself are all doing great. My mother finished her chemotherapy and is slowly growing her hair back out. My sister's and I are all doind good frombour surgeries, we haven't finished all the procedures at this time but should be done by the end of the year.I am so thankful to my mom for having the test done so that I could take steps now to hopefully prevent getting breast cancer. For a ling time my mom kept apologizing but my sister's aand I keep telling her that there's nothing to be sorry for and that we are greatful that she gave us the chance to fight it before it fights us. I love you mom you are an inspiration to me and many other women.

Jo
DesMoines, IA

My story.

I went for my yearly mammogram October 2013 and a spot showed up. They sent me for a biopsy 3 days later, and found it to be cancer. I went to the surgeon, and she was surprised, you could not feel it. I was a stage 1. By the time the surgery happened on nov 6 th, it was a high stage 2. They did a mastectomy as I asked, also took 3 lymph nodes. After my gene testing results came back, I opted for a mastectomy of my left breast. That one was all clear. The also removed 9 more lymph nodes on the right at that time. Then came the chemo in jan, I was lucky I only had to do 4 rounds, but it was a great weight loss program. I lost 45 pounds during it. The only problem I really had, was my scar split, and I had to have a nurse come 3 days a week for 5 months for them to heal. Then when everything was good with my breast cancer, they found I had a 58% chance of getting ovarian cancer, so in August 2014 I had my ovaries and tubes removed. Luckily, no signs of cancer. Now I am working on losing weight, so I just had the gastric sleeve done a few weeks ago. I am 57 yrs old, and I want to be around along time. Cancer is a family thing. My mom had ovarian, my dad and son at age 30 had colon cancer, and 2 aunts had brain. It is something I really have to be aware of. I am glad I have made it through, I know it's tough, but just keep praying through it, it may take a lot out of you, but living is great. I send my best wishes to all who have gone through it or have someone they love going through it. Good luck.

Kay zilverberg
Colorado Springs, CO

Survivor

I was Diagnosed on January 21, 2011 with Breast Cancer I had both Breast removed on Feb. 1,2011, I was scared at first but then my husband held me and said we will get thru this together, my family and friends gather round us and told me you are strong you will pull thru this with flying colors and here it is 4 years later and I'm still here. I feel like god has me here for a reason and that it to let everyone going thru this that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that true friends and family members can and will help you thru the rough times in your live. My neice went thru this a couple of years before I was diagnosed with it and she was my inspiration thru it and I was able to talk to her about what I was facing she was really a big help to me and my husband.

Peggy Phillips
Leeds, AL

My Light

I had breast cancer in the first stage of pregnancy. I chose to have a mastectomy in order to get all the cancer cells. The light at the end of the tunnel was a healthy baby boy who is turning 14 next week.😊. I praise the Lord for my son and my life!

Beverly Smith
Chesnee, SC

My Story

May 2014 I was diagnosed with right breast cancer at the age 58. I have always gone in every year for Mannograms. But that year I had a Mannogram and a Ultrasound then the next day for biopsy. Then the phone call came in from my Dr. and that I was told that I had right breast cancer. I had a MRI done that is where I was told that I was at stage 3, invasive ductal carcinoma and nonvasive ductal carcinoma,Triple Negative,Her2nu. Had done Chemo, Surgery, Radation. When I started my Chemo in June 2014 had started cycle 1 then cycle 2 in Aug finished all all this in Oct 30 and had surgery on Dec 3 got the result 2 days later, I was clean.But I have Herceptin as a maintinence that I also started in Aug and finish it in this Aug 2015.And I never gave up the hope and kept going strong and finishing the fight.

Deletha Goodnight
Whitefish, MT

Now it is a Story

This is Marufa from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on 5 years back when I was 36 Years and I have a lovely family of 2 daughters and husband. We was in shock. It took us a couple days to decide there was one way I wanted to go about this fight. Simple mastectomy with Axillary Clearance (Rt) was done. After that 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of Radiotherapy done successfully in same year. By the grace of omnipotent Allah, I’m well now.

From 2012 I get involved for sharing my practical experience that I learned during my treatment period with the breast cancer affected women and try to get the courage them.

From last year I stated my home based handicrafts business again which was stopped due to treatment and its post effect. I also started to educated the women surrounding me about self-examination of breasts tumor surround.

This year my next target to educate the women in slum area (where mostly Illiterate, Poorly educated people are lives) and about self-examination of breasts tumor which is the 1st step of early detection of breast cancer.

I collected some video on self-examination of breasts tumor in early stage from YouTube. Tumor detection in early stage is very important and it will help to treatment effectively. Video files are available in http://goo.gl/AwdHHp.

Marufa Shahid
Dhaka, Bangladesh

SAGE'S PRESCRIPTION

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. I am now a five-year survivor, and God is using me to help other women coming behind me. We have helped almost 1200 women and 5 men in almost 4 1/2 years. Paying it forward through the charity I founded is part of the healing process for me.

Anonymous
Sumter, SC

Set Free

October 8, 2014. Took my kids to school, grabbed a coffee, and called my doctors office about a lump I had found in my right breast. 3 hours later a radiologist told me it was breast cancer and they needed to perform a biopsy to confirm. The tornado of doctors, procedures, and emotions began. December 10, 2014 I underwent a skin sparing double mastectomy. Initial pathology showed the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes. 5 days later my doctor called to tell me the final report showed 1 node had been invaded. December 21st they went back in and took 9 more. They were clean. I'm currently half done with my chemo regiment and scheduled for reconstruction in May. There is no way to describe the impact of this diagnosis. The pain of surgery, the pain of skin stretching implant fills, the ugliness of chemo. For me, the worst part has been the fear in my children's eyes. As well as the toll it's taken on my friends and family. But, with great difficulty comes great reward. The silver lining in this is that I've slowed down. I've stopped doing so much for my family and I do more with them. My community wrapped me up and I will never doubt I am loved. My faith is strong and I believe God has a plan. I am thankful for the hard lessons learned and blessed to be set free.

Susie Bradbury
Montesano, WA

Am I cured?

No one will ever know the answer!

As long as I have love and laughter in my life this long and arduous journey has a meaning! 💜

Terri Cooney
Adelaide, Australia
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