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Go With Your Gut

You may have heard it before, "Go with your gut!" Well I am glad I did because before a doctor diagnosed me with breast cancer, I knew I had it. I found my lump in the summer of 2013 and scheduled an appointment to have a mammogram within weeks of finding it. If I did not do self exams, I would have waited till December when I go for my yearly, which waiting could have made the cancer progress farther in my body. After the mammogram, even thou they did not tell me it's cancer, I could see it in their face. They asked me to come back for a biopsy. The next day I received the call from the doctor that it was invasive ductal carcinoma (stage 2). WOW! Even thou I had the feeling it is still a shock at first, but as I had the gut feeling that I had cancer, I also had the gut feeling I was going to be OK. I did not dwell on it, I cried, wiped my tears and said lets do this. I am a single mother and my kids need me. I went through a double mastectomy, 16 rounds of chemo and weeks of radiation, which I completed in June of 2014. I am now cancer free because I listened to my gut instead of being afraid.

Jill
Canton, MI

I Am A Warrior

At least that's what the quiz I just took said I was in a past life and I am going to be in this one.

I found a lump in my left breast at the end of October/beginning of November. I had been back home for a little over a hectic year so far and hadn't found an OB/GYN. In July my husband, our son and I had begun volunteering on the Tall Ship Elissa in Galveston and we needed to have physicals so I arranged them. That morning I was hungry from fasting for the physical, so I decided to distract myself by finding an OB/GYN. As soon as I put in the call, I was squeezed into the schedule and from there, they squeezed my in for a mammogram and ultrasound. Then that doctor squeezed me into the schedule for a biopsy all in the same day. It was December 18 and I got the results the Monday after Christmas. I had actually already read them for myself on Sunday, but I didn't say anything. I wanted to hear it from the doctor because I wasn't sure what I was reading. After a bunch of tests, and consultations we are ready to begin and my surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning. My battle has just begun, but I believe I will win and I know from previous experience I won't give up without a fight. So congratulations to those who have preceded me in victory and good luck to those that follow, we will keep fighting and we will win! Eventually, we will all have provided information and knowledge that will defeat this enemy once and for all!

Teresa
Houston, TX

Mammogram Found Early Breast Cancer

I went in for my yearly Mammogram last November. My grandmother died from Breast cancer and my older sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer 6 years ago, so I never miss my yearly mammogram! Within an hour after my mammogram, the doctors office contacted me and told me I needed to come in for another Mammogram because they found breast calcifications on the first one. After having my second mammogram, I met with the radiologist who strongly suggested that I have a biopsy. Following his suggestion, I had a biopsy two weeks later. It came back positive for non-invasive and invasive ductal carcinoma Stage 1. I had a fantastic surgeon and he removed all of the cancerous tissue during the biopsy. Because the cancer was so small and the margins around the cancerous tissue was clear, as well as my lymph nodes, I only need to have 21 radiation treatments. They used to do 30-33 radiation treatments, but the new thing with early breast cancer is 21 treatments. I will have radiation in a prone position where my breast hangs through a hole in the radiation table, so they only radiate the breast and not the heart, lungs and ribs!

I am so blessed that the mammogram showed the calcifications and my cancer was detected early! I believe every woman should have a yearly mammogram, no matter what the cost, or what their insurance companies tell them! It not only saved my breast, it saved my Life!

Sandee Jorns
Sturgeon Bay, WI

Celebrate My Life

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2006 and am lucky now to be a survivor. I finished all my cancer drugs in December 2014 and am grateful that I found my breast lump in time and for the fantastic doctors, nurses who had the expertise to save me. I started singing and writing songs when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and recently won 6 commendations for my songs in the UK Songwriting Competition which was judged by well known songwriters and producers. Here's one of my songs, "Celebrate My Life". I wrote this about trying every day not to take things for granted and to enjoy the life that I have been given to the full. https://soundcloud.com/louloub/celebrate-my-life

Louise Barron
Inverness, United Kingdom

My Mother - My Hero

Hello :) I just wanted to share a photo of my breast cancer tattoo. My mother was diagnosed 5 years ago with stage 2 cancer. During her chemo and radiation treatments, my 92 year old grandfather passed away. The wings are for my grandpa. My mother is a survivor.

vegasmade87@yahoo.com
Silverdale, WA

Thirteen Years and Counting!

I found a lump in my left breast in January 2001; I was 41 years old. I immediately went to my doctor, who ordered a diagnostic mammogram. The lump was not picked up on the mammogram; I was told to repeat the exam in 6 months. During my second mammogram, the technician remarked that she could see and feel the lump--so could I! But the results of that mammogram showed no abnormalities. I went back to my doctor and said, "You know something is there, and I know something is there. I want a biopsy." My doctor sent me to a surgeon, who performed the biopsy on a Monday. By that Friday I was on the operating table undergoing a lumpectomy, having been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. After 10 months of chemo and radiation and 5 years of Tamoxifen, I'm still cancer-free today. I continue to have yearly mammograms, but I also do monthly self-exams. I also see a dermatologist regularly to make sure that the radiated area of my chest and neck stays cancer-free. Yes, you can develop melanoma years after radiation! I'm positive that I wouldn't be alive today if I hadn't been proactive about my health, and I urge everyone to do the same!

Sandy McRoy
Murphysboro, IL

im a breat cancer survivor

Hello everyone.

It's my 3rd year but be telling people it's my 2nd by mistake as it has gone so fast.Today I'm at the stage that I am so far along the path where I feel much better within my self ,I am a very positive person and always will be .My story starts from when I was diagnosed I couldn't believe the impact it caused to me an my family,just didn't think it would ever happen to me at all.I knew I had to deal with it and at the same time was to keep a smile on my face where really I was crying in side .My surgery was major I was cut 8 inches down my right side lumpectomy with reconstruction could go to work for 6 months,I had drains coming out of me which was painful no one could ever know in my family what I suffered unless if you was going through it.Some days was worse then others I had to have radiation for 5days for 6 weeks which made me very tired.but I survived all this it isn't at all easy but I got there ,with the support of my husband I would not had got by so I thank him for the care and support .My self at this very moment in time is barring together some days are bad other days I can't stop laughing life goes on and I am one of the lucky ones.I am in remission for 5 years and I know I will be okay....Thanks also for the support from breast cancer buddies,McMillan Wrexhampark,kingEdward hospital.

I

karen baker
slough, United Kingdom

The Judy Story

Oh, what a year, but we are thankful for another one. This past September 2014 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Ductal Carcinoma-In Situ Breast Cancer. God has surrounded Tim and I through this journey one day at a time, with some tears, and a tremendous uplifting of prayers and support. God guided the surgeon to remove the big tumor on September 18th on our 4th Wedding Anniversary. A special day when I woke and my Timmy D told me no lymph nodes were affected. I remained strong through it all and my fears were always taken away by prayer. It’s amazing the amount of people whom I’ve met through this and who fight like girls to win victory over this dreaded disease. Treatment is always one of the hardest phases of the process and it was anticipated by my oncologist that I would have to have 6-8 Chemotherapy treatments. I blew him out of the water by testing out with a 0 on a test that they do to see if that type of treatment is necessary. With a 0 level I did not have to have it! So Yay….I moved on to just 33 Radiation Treatments. I’ve been told over and over God has a plan for me. It makes me teary eyed when I think about it. I’ve always said “I don’t know who holds tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand”. Just wanted to wish each and every one who is faced with breast cancer that to take one day at a time and always look up, because when things seem glim God is there and look around another CANCER SISTER is as well.

Judy Hanna Deaton
Charlotte, NC

My battle with breast cancer

In March 2014, at the age of 62, I was diagnosed with an early stage breast cancer in my right breast. I was very scared but I told myself that I want to live and it won't do me any good to be upset through it, it will not make it go away. I immediately decided that I was going to do whatever was needed to survive, bring it on.

It was decided to do a lumpectomy. When the pathology report came back it showed that there was more cancer in the breast. I was given the option of either having another lumpectomy or having a mastectomy. After thinking hard about it, I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, I just wanted to get it over. I didn't want to be worrying about getting cancer in the other breast. When they did the bilateral mastectomy, they found cancer was also in the left breast so my decision worked out for the best.

I was very blessed because my cancer was in the early stage and I did not have any cancer in my lymph nodes so I did not have to have radiation or chemotherapy. I know God was watching over me but I also believe that going through it with a goal to survive and good attitude helped. My procedures went very well and the recoveries were no were near what I was expecting.

For those going through it, try to have a good frame of mind, it really helps.

God Bless You.

Lillian
Baltimore, MD

My Mom

This is my mom's story, she passed away 12/29/2014 (two weeks ago) after a courageous battle with stage IV, it was her second time having it...the first time she was only 43 years old and it was stage I...it came back 11 years later as stage IV at the age of 54....she died at age 59...She was taken from us too soon! I am getting married in 5 months and she will not be there now...but I know she will be watching...I have decided to get "sleeve" tattoos now...all breast cancer related...it is my new mission in life...my old mission was to convince at least one person to go for their mammogram...and I did that. A co-worker has been putting it off for years now, after my mom's death and hearing her story, she has finally made the appointment.

I included part of the eulogy I gave at my mom's funeral...it was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do in my entire life

Who my mom was to me…she was a brave, selfless fighter, with a huge heart of gold, she is my hero, my best friend, the strongest woman I have ever known, someone I could talk to about anything, whether it was to get advice or when I just needed someone who would listen, we also worked together for over 10 years…she always stayed positive no matter how grim the situation may have been, giving up was Never an option for her…she was a wonderful and supportive mom to us, an awesome grandma to our kids, and a loving wife to my dad for almost 37 years…and finally…her courageous story of survival makes her an inspiration for other women (and men) fighting breast cancer everywhere. She had a 1 in 4 chance of living 5 or more years...well she was that ONE! She did it, she made it as long as she possibly could and fought cancer with every ounce of her strength up til the very end…just as she promised us she would! She fought for 5 years and 4 1/2 months!

Kristina Harmeyer
Racine, WI
Enchanted Forest Sleeveless Tunic
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