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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

What a Shock

For the first time on the 26 September I had a McMillan coffee morning in honour of my friends partner who had died in August after a brave fight. It was a success I made lots of money for cancer and met some fantastic people.

However 2 weeks later I found a lump in my breast and after a whirl wind of tests it was confirmed as Grade 3 aggressive Tumour. This was removed on the 9 December with 3 lympth nodes we went back on the 19th to be told cancer was in 1 out of the 3 nodes and I would need further surgery plus chemo and radiotherapy (what a lovely Christmas present).

My Chemo started on 14th January the nurses were brilliant my first was awful was sick for 24hrs and ended up in hospital. Next 2 were better given good anti sickness tablets, the next 2 were awful and did not manage number 6, again the staff were fantastic I was so worried but gave me such support. Had lymph node clearance on the 14th May no more cancer all clear (thank god). My radiotherapy starts on the 31st July last leg I hope. I would like to say lots of Thank You's to all the staff that have supported me the NHS could not pay them enough. To my fantastic family and friends and also to my new grand daughter soon to be born. I am hoping to be around to see her grow up and also my fantastic grandson xxx I feel so blessed xx I was so scared and unsure what the future held for me (still are) but I know with the support of people around and a positive attitude and gods help and presence (he listened when I needed him most) we can beat this horrible disgusting disease .God Bless to you all xxxx

SUSAMN PIPER
BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom

I AM A WINNER

It was May-2008 and I went for my yearly mammogram from missing it for two years straight.

So the weekend went by and Monday I was getting my procedure of the biopsy done at West Shore hospital . I went and got prepped and first the doctor gave me a Valium to relax me because he had to take me down to the mammagram machine and put markers were the cancer was located to do the biopsy. So I stood at the mammagram machine and he marked the spots. He the pushed a wire through my skin to mark it. By the the fourth wire he looked at me and seeing the look on his face I knew he felt bad. He said" I am so sorry I can not finish this due to this hospital not having the right mammagram machine. He said he will have to send me to Grand Rapuds at the Lacks cancer center.

She then did a consultation and we had to meet a team of doctors very soon.

A few weeks later I went back to the Lacks Cancer center and met with a team of doctors. They talked about a lot of things my brain could not remember.

A few days later I get approx four mammagram a, a MRI( which the doctor wS puzzled she could not find any glow on that spot). Which to this day did not understand that. But after all that on November 21,2008 I had a Lattissimus Dorsi Flap reconstructive surgery the same time as my cancer surgery removal. I recovers and two months later received chemo for six months, and then in July I received the last reconstruction surgery. Now five years later I feel wonderful and feel I picked the right surgery.

Kimberly Marie
Traverse City, MI

I'm Making My Way Through!

Hello my name is Julie and I'm a breast cancer warrior. 2 weeks before my 25th b-day I was diagnosed with breast cancer in both of my breasts. I was told that I only had 2 1/2 yrs at best. In October of 2014 I will celebrate my 10 yr survivorship mark. I attribute my longevity to my Lord, loved ones & friends who have supported and given me strength when I thought I had none left. I especially owe a huge amount of gratitude to my husband David. He has supported me through it all. 1 month after I was diagnosed he married me without thinking twice. He makes me feel beautiful everyday of my life and he is truly blind to all of the scars my body has. To date I have undergone 13+ surgeries. However, I don't see my scars as something ugly to hide. They are my battle wounds. I proudly show them because they are a testament to my strength and determination to stay alive. I also managed to obtain my bachelors degree in criminal justice while I was bedridden. I managed to stay on the Dean's list the entire time. I did this for 2 reasons: 1- I always valued higher education and my wonderful husband gave me that gift. 2- it was important for me to show my 2 boys that if I can achieve that in the state that I was in, then there is no mountain that they can't conquer. I know I will never be the same Julie I was before this and that's OK. I'm stronger and take nothing for granted. I've always been a rebel and I rebel against that death sentence. There is still too much I need to see and do. My boys need their mom and I will see them through to adulthood. Any time I get after that is just icing on the cake. Don't let breast cancer define you, you define it. Where there's a will there's a way. So watch out world, Julie is still making her way through!

Julie Garcia
El Paso, TX
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