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She said you have cancer and will have to have a mastectomy

A little over 7 years ago, a week before my 59th birthday, I happened to be home from work due to a bronchitis attack over the weekend. It was a Monday morning and I was on the couch resting. The phone rang, I answered, and was told that I need to have an ultrasound because my mammogram, a week prior, showed a lump on my right breast. I set up the appointment, hung up the phone, and felt the lump. I knew right then that it was cancer. Two days later I had the ultrasound. The tech said she was going to have a doctor come in to talk to me. The lady doctor who came in was very curt and matter-of-fact and said to me, "You have cancer and will have to have a mastectomy. I will call your doctor and let her know.", and she walked out of the room. Was I upset that I had cancer? Not in the least. I was upset because that doctor had no compassion let alone bedside manner. THAT'S what upset me. I went to my car, brushed the snow off it, and no sooner did I get in when my doctor called me. She said she was sorry about my bad news and would have her receptionist call me with a surgeon's phone number. I got that call within minutes and wrote down the surgeon's information. Within a week I was in the surgeon's office and set up an appointment for a biopsy. A few days later I had the biopsy and was told I could have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. I chose the lumpectomy and had it done 2 weeks later. A week and a half after that I went to a wonderful Oncologist and started chemo the following day. After 4 chemo treatments and a few weeks wait I started my radiation therapy. This picture was taken the same day of my last radiation treatment when I participated in the Relay for Life. I've been cancer free for 7 years and 5 months.

Fran
Cleveland, OH

my mom

my mother in law who is more a mom to me she is 84

and has had breast cancer she is a 20 year seiver of breast cancer

and it is because of her that i will do anything to help breast cancer i do the walk here in

las vegas ever year and i voltinteer and help out this year there is a dounk tank

i am finding out how i can help for the tank my phone number is 702 343 2473 please call and let me know how i can help

thank you sue easton

sue easton
Las Vegas, NV

I Feel Like a Rock Star!

Taking control is what has gotten me through the toughest times. I agonized about losing my hair, so I shaved my head on the first day of chemo because I was not going to let cancer take it from me. I have never felt so liberated in my life! I felt like a rock star that day, and now feel more beautiful than I ever have. I got in a rut for about 2 months, so I decided it was time to take control of something again. I have been inspired by other survivors who have gone on to do great things with charities and helping others. I'm terrible about asking for money so I knew a charity was not in my future, but I do have a big mouth, so I decided my new passion was to spread the message on the importance of self breast exams. I came up with a way to get people excited about it. I'm going to be on Dancing with the Stars! (they don't know it yet) because I want to reach millions of viewers. My self breast exam saved my life. I know my message will save others, too. I have already reached thousands of people, so I've already succeeded! Everything after this is just an added bonus. I have 5 more weeks of chemo and I've never felt more alive in my life! I've found my passion again and I am fired up! Watch out world! There's no stopping me now!

Jenny Samson Morgan
Jefferson City, MO

A Test of Faith

I was 46 yrs old, in 2005, when I heard the phrase...."You have cancer". As a 25 yr Oncology RN, I was ANGRY! Had spent 25 yrs taking care of cancer pts... How can it be me??? It's not fair!! But it was me...My mother had had breast cancer. I was so scared. I was in a horrible marriage, drinking to escape. Now that I had been handed a "death sentence", convinced I was going to die, and deserved to die, my drinking soared. No one wanted to be around me I had, what was supposed to be, a lumpectomy..My surgeon missed a "bleeder" and 24 hrs after being home, the remaining breast was hugely swollen with blood. Second surgery was immediate, only now, they had to remove a lot more of the breast. Ended up with a partial mastectomy w/ drains in my back. The day we got home, we had to evacuate the Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Rita. Eventually I healed....and pissed at God because I didn't die. I was miserable in my own skin, an alcoholic who just wanted the pain to end. I plugged on in the marriage...my husband wouldn't even take me to my treatments. I was exhausted, and my home life was intolerable. So, so angry that God wouldn't let me just die! When I finally figured out I was going to survive, despite my efforts, something changed in me. I found AA, got sober, and discovered who I was. Divorced my husband and

haven't had a drink since. Now have 7 yrs sobriety. I made up with God, was re-baptized in my church. Found a man that doesn't think I'm "deformed", my exes words..I used to think I was a victim. I am much more than that!! I am a survivor !!

I do hospice nursing now. I celebrate being a survivor every yr at the Relay for Life. It reminds me that I can overcome anything!! I concluded that God gave me a Test of Faith. I hope I made Him proud!

Hope
Dallas, TX

I Beat Triple Negative Breast Cancer!!!

My story begins September 2013 when I discovered a lump. I was 53 and I've always gone for my annual mammograms since age 40 and have no family history of breast cancer. Although I hadn't been doing regular self exams, I was not concerned thinking it was from the dog jumping on me and my annual mammogram was scheduled for just a few weeks later anyway. When the lump didn't go away, I saw my doctor and she prescribed a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. After those and a biopsy, I was diagnosed with aggressive stage 3a triple negative breast cancer on October 24, my Dad's birthday.

I began 4 rounds of adriamycin (the Red Devil) and cytoxan, followed by 4 rounds of taxol. My son shaved my hair before I lost it and I really wasn't too upset as I never had glorious locks of hair anyway. I ended up in and at the hospital a couple of times with infections with the AC and had some painful reactions to T, but made it though.

Then on March 21, 2014, my Mom's birthday, I had bilateral mastectomies with immediate DIEP flap reconstruction, with 10 lymph nodes removed, 2 were cancerous. After 6 weeks of healing, I began 5 weeks of radiation which wasn't too bad, but did cause a severe burn under my arm.

On June 18, my son's birthday, I had a total hysterectomy/oophorectemy as I tested positive for the BRCA1 gene variant.

And now, I am DONE and CANCER FREE!!! Just some healing and a couple of reconstruction procedures.

Throughout this ordeal, I have been truly blessed to have the support of MANY phenomenal people--my family, friends, coworkers, church, doctors and medical professionals. Their acts of kindness and generosity of spirit, time, finances are too numerous to be listed here, but I know God blessed me with their support so I could not only survive, but thrive. Thank you to all of them!

I pray that all of you receive what you need to make it through this dreadful journey. God bless you and fight like a girl!

Jeanette
Easton, PA

Keeping the Faith

I was diagnosed with ILC on 9/6/13. After research and a couple visits to the plastic surgeon, and a couple of phone calls to the breast surgeon, I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. To the surprise of the surgeon, I had 8 out of 9 lymph nodes that were positive as the cancer in my breast was small but obviously more aggressive than anticipated - I had stage IIIA breast cancer. My surgeon said we have more work to do to fight this disease once you are healed from the surgery. One and 1/2 months later I started my 6 rounds of chemotherapy of Taxotere, Andromycin and Cytoxen. I had the infusions every 21 days. Lost my hair exactly 12 days after my first treatment. The first 3 treatments were OK and was able to go back to work one week later. Treatments 4-6 recovery time was a little longer (10 days) before I could get back to work. After about one month after last chemotherapy, I started my 28 day radiation treatment. This was a breeze compared to chemotherapy, but became tiresome as I had to go everyday. I was told at the beginning that this would be a year long journey and now I understand what they meant. I have met some incredible women at the infusion center and the good people who work with cancer patients. I tip my hat off to them as they always greeted me with a reassuring smile, laughed with me and were compassionate. Also, I have the good fortune to have many friends, family and wonderful husband and children to encourage me along the way. God has given me many blessings during this journey and I hope will continue. Prayers and support were essential to help me keep a positive attitude and strength. Cancer is not easy, but can be tolerable with a positive attitude and a "I can do it" outlook!

Anonymous
Atlanta, GA

2nd year in remission

Diagnosed 2 years ago with fast growing aggresive breast cancer aged then 45. Had lump removed 6 lots of chemo and 14 lots of radio. Am on tamoxifen. I feel back to normal now and head full shoulder length hair. Be positive, eat healthy and keep active, and most of all keep smiling and kick cancers bum. Best of luck everyone xxx

natalie
london, United Kingdom

I'm stronger because I had cancer

in 2001 i found a lump in my armpit. I had my husband check it as well. I just figured it was from deodorant or an ingrown hair. Then a year later, i discovered a teeny lump in my right breast. I went to the doctor who sent me for a mammogram. they also did an ultrasound. The dr scheduled me for a surgical biopsy. I remember being confident it was nothing. the dr came in and told me the lump in my armpit and a lump in breast were cancerous. The little one i found, was benign. i never even felt the other lump in my breast. After another surgery and failed Sentinal node (to check the lymph nodes) showed that the cancer had spread to 4 of 14 nodes, and they staged me Stage 3B. After 8 chemo's and 33 radiation treatments, i'm 12 years cancer free) i was never sick. i only missed work for the surgeries. i worked through chemo and radiation. I fought chemo with a sense of humor. I mocked it, had friends mock it. we all laughed together. I know that humor got me through it.

deb
pine valley, CA

I survived, but lost My World

My name is Bill, my story starts back on 15th August 2008, on the 15th August i went along with my wife (My World) to the Linda McCartney Cancer Centre, my wife had found a lump in her breast, after she had a mammogram and biopsy, we waited for a few hours and were then given the news that she had Breast Cancer the world collapsed around us but we picked ourselves up and asked the usual questions: how bad, how long, what happens now, our son was to celebrate his 18th birthday 2 weeks later so my wife would not have surgery until after this (she always put others before her self). she had a mastectomy and two weeks later we given the news that the cancer had spread and there was no cure, she got up and simply said "Oh well best make the most of what times left" and this we did for the next 3 years, she went through chemo but could not cope at times, eventually the cancer won I had lost My World, on the 15th August 2012 exactly 4 years to the day I was given the news that I had Bowel Cancer, the support i received from family, friends and strangers was unbelievable, I was determined not let it beat me, I had chemo,radiotherapy and then major surgery, after the surgery i got the news that the cancer had got out of the bowel, i had a 6 month daily course of chemo and sometimes felt like crawling into a hole and giving up but remembered how brave My World had been and how many people were supporting me, I have been clear on scans for nearly a year and know inside that i am winning, If you are struggling with treatment or just the cancer put some positive thoughts in to you mind sometimes it helps, my life is looking so much brighter.

Bill

Bill Sargeant
Liverpool, United Kingdom

MY BREAST CANCER STORY

i FOUND OUT I HAD BREAST CANCER IN MAY OF 2012, I DECIDED TO HAVE A DOUBLE MASECTOMY TRAN FLAP SEPTEMBER 2012 THE MASECTOMY WAS DONE AND WENT GREAT. I WAS HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL IN NO TIME THAT SURGERY WAS 10 HOURS LONG. WITH ALL MY FAMILY BY MY SIDE SON, DAUGHTER COUSIN LAYNA AND ALSO MY EX-HUSBAND. IN DECEMBER MY STOMACH WAS DONE TO MAKE MY BREAT THAT DIDN'T GO SO WELL, AFTER THEY SENT ME HOMEMY STOMACH GOT INFECTED AND THEY HAD TO PUT A WOUND VAC ON BECAUSE IT WAS NOT HEALING WELL. I WAS ADMITED BACK INTO THE HOSPITAL AND REMAIN THERE FOR 2 MONTHS WHAT EVER COULD GO WRONG WENT WRONG. I WAS MALNURIOUSTED AND HAD TO RECEIVED HYPERBARRICKS WHICH IS OXEGEN TREATMENT TO HELP ME HEAL BETTER. THEN MY EARS GOT INFECTED FROM THE HYPERBARRICKES THE MACHINE THEY PUT YOU IN IS LIKE A AIRPLANE STARTING UP. SO BACK TO SURGERY TO GET TUBES IN MY EARS. THEN ABOUT A WEEK AFTER THAT I GOT A BLADDER INFECTION WITH A VERY HIGH FEVER, THEN BLOOD PRESSURE DROPPED VERY DEATH LOW. NEEDLESS TO SAY WHAT COULD HAVE GONE WRONG DID. I DID GET THE BEST CARE IN JEFFERSON HOSPITAL IN PHILA. PA.1 WEEK BEFORE IT WAS TIME TO GO HOME I STILL WAS GETTING ANTIBIOTICS 5 TIMES A DAY THREW IV SO I COULD NOT GO HOME SO I HAD TO GO TO A AFTER CARE FACILITY BECAUSE INSURANCE WOULD NOT LET ME STAY IN THE HOSPITAL ANYMORE. ALL ALONG MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS HELP TAKE CARE OF WHAT EVER I NEEDED. I MISSED ALL MY HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS. ALL OF THIS WAS SUPPOSE TO BE 6 TO 8 WEEKS WAS 8 MONTHS. SINCE THEN I HAD 2 BREAST REDUCTIONS FROM LOSING SO MUCH WEIGHT MY BREAST WERE SAGGING. IT IS NOW JUNE AND I HAVE A APPT. WITH THE DR. TO SET UP MY NIPPLES TATOO ON. THE END!! THANKS TO LAYNA MY DAUGHTER MY SON ANTHONY AND RICHARD MY EX-HUSBAND AND MY ANGEL COUSIN LAYNA AND FRIEND GRACE,

MARYANN SHEARMAN
drexel hill, PA
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