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I was 38 when I was diagnosed. I found my lump by myself and was told I had both ductal and lobular cancer in my right breast. I decided that a mastectomy was the way to go. I Don't regret my decision. I had a nipple-sparring mastectomy and my surgeons did a beautiful job. My cancer did not spread, and so I was told I would just need to take Tamoxifen. I also tested negative for any genetic genes. The reason why I wanted to write on here was to tell you that, I believe what happen to me was a blessing. It changed me into a better person. One day I went to a healing mass and discovered a wonderful devotion called the Divine Mercy! I encourage you to pray this wonderful, powerful prayer. Along with the Rosary! I pray everyday for all those with cancer and I believe trust in Jesus will save you!! God Bless!!!

new haven, CT

Two time breast cancer survivor

A large lump was discovered on my left breast in the fall of 1998. I had a lumpectomy, then a grochon catheter, then chemo (all within three weeks), I had some bad reactions to one of the meds and was very sick. My white blood cell count kept dropping, so I got shots every day. If the count was low, I couldn't get chemo, so I made a lot of trips to the cancer center - I felt like I lived there. That went on for six months, then I had 34 days of radiation - more trips to the clinic. I missed a year of work, but was ok. Then in 2002, another lump was found in the same place. They couldn't do a lumpectomy, so my husband and I decided to have a complete double mastectomy. I was a size D, so I really don't miss having them. Now, for the good news, I'm fine now after all these years. I still get checked once a year. What got me through all that was the Lord and my wonderful husband of almost 50 years. I'm 70 now and he's 73. Just because you go through breast cancer (or any cancer) doesn't mean you won't come out of it to have a good life, so keep smiling, be positive, have a sense of humor, and you'll make it.

Peyton, CO

40 year old widow with Triple Negative Breast Cancer

On August 8, 2014 I attended a baseball game. The next morning, I was lying in bed and I noticed something different, I had a lump on my left breast that wasn't there before. I thought it was probably nothing because I was healthy and felt great but decided to get it checked out. I thought there was no way it could be Cancer. I had just had a mammogram in June that came back clear! This was less than 2 months later. I went and had an ultrasound done. Finally, after the two ladies were done with the ultrasound they turned on the light and said you are showing signs of Cancer. Hearing the news, I was so shocked as no one in my family has had breast cancer.

I had lost two of the most important men in my life to Cancer; my Dad in January 2005 and my husband in May 2011. I was a 40 year old widow who has suffered enough, don’t I get some sort of pass? There is no way I have Cancer which is what I kept telling myself. I moved to Chicago to get away from the painful memories at home and for a fabulous job opportunity. I have an incredible family, and the best girlfriends. Cancer did not fit into my life plan.

I was diagnosed with aggressive triple negative invasive ductile carcinoma on August 13th . Since the diagnosis, I have been going through multiple doctor visits, MRIs, biopsies, mammograms, cat scans, bone scans, and ultrasounds. I started chemotherapy on October 8th which is called the “red devil” and Taxol. I just finished my last chemo on December 31st and will go on to a lumpectomy and radiation.

I am filled with gratitude and treat every day like a gift. What keeps me going is imagining the good times I will have in the future with my family and friends and I fight for all the other woman battling this disease. We are in this together....

Evey Thallmayer
Chicago, IL

Now What?

I always had dense breasts -- good for me as wearing a bra was often optional! I had been called in for follow-up mammograms multiple times and was always thankful they were clear except for that fateful summer of 2009.

Oh the biopsy on the hydralic lift was a challenge -- I was suffering from the aftermath of a frozen shoulder. OMG each bit of the biopsy contained cancerous tissue. After an MRI that "lit up like a Christmas tree", I was scheduled for surgery. Since I was post child bearing years and a wimp, I decided to have a double mastectomy. I didn't want to deal with another cancer diagnosis and symmetry seemed important. After surgery it was determined that I had the unfriendly HER2+ type of cancer, so although margins were clear as was my sentinal node, I still had a four month course of chemo therapy and monoclonal antibody infusions for a year.

After treatment was completed, I suffered an adult migrane, mistaking it for a stroke. In speaking with the doctor, I told him that I was relieved that insult was not added to injury (a stroke on top of cancer). He said, "Cancer? Have you read "The China Study" by Colin Campbell? I had not read it, but did so in short order.

Ladies you CAN do something about reducing your risk of cancer recurrence or the development of other cancers. Eat plants! Broccoli, cauliflower, beans, cherries and other delights keep us in working order. One website I love is Be brave. Be proactive. Your health and your family's health are the pay off.

Be well ladies and gents. Know that I love you all and wish you the very best in 2015!

Ashland, OR


i had a breast reduction ten years ago and was told that I had some abnormal cells that they were about to take out in the milk duct during this procedure that would mean I was cured. no reason to do anything else other than take tomixifen for 5 years. now ten years later a yearly mammogram showed a small tiny little spot that would take out and I had to do radiation after the surgery. Radiation is an experience like no other I ever have had. It was a pain to go there daily when you live 30 miles one way , away.,,, but the people at memorial medical center cancer center were so wonderful and I even cried when I went my last day cause I was going to miss them. it was like, they had taken over my life and healthcare for a month, and now they were throwing me out on my own in this cruel world again, but I am so thankful for modern technology and people who care. I am now cancer free, recovering from radiation burning, and thankful to be here. don't ever give up, a positive attitude will get you so much further in this journey of ductual carcinoma in situ!!!!

cheryl Boyd
lincoln, IL

Christmas day 2012

I remember when my mom ask me to go with Her to the doctor and I said yes, she had surgery that day because she said they found a knot in her breast. I was naive at the time and I didn't want to accept that my mom may have cancer, well after her surgery she started getting sick and I decided to put in a leave of absent from my job so I could take care of my mom. I moved her in my apartment and bath and feed her like she was a infant baby, well on Christmas eve my sister came over to sit with my mom so I could get a break, see we would take turns caring for her so I left and when I came back it was 12 which made it Christmas day and I walked upstairs and I sit in this chair I had in her room I put on some soothing music and she looked over at me and smile and that's when she took her last breath. I don't think I would ever get over that smile she gave me, she waited until I came back home to take her last breath.

Catherine tyler
Louisville, KY

20 and Fighting

I was a 20 year old college athlete living the dream till one day I felt a lump and knew that it shouldn't be there.

I followed up with my doctor the following week and got an ultra sound and biopsy only to get a call a week later telling me I had IDC Breast Cancer. I thought my life was crashing down around me .

But with the help my friends and family I am getting through it and will not let it win!

Victoria Metzger
Saint Louis, MO


Four years ago this past February, I head an angel whisper while at work, “Get your mammogram.” As I put the key in the front door lock that evening, I again heard the angel whisper, “Get your mammogram.” I dropped my bags in the open doorway and went to my den to retrieve my 9-MONTH OVERDUE mammogram order. I called the breast center the next day and received an appointment for that Thursday, which was my birthday.

The following Monday at work, the breast center called, asking me to come in to repeat my mammogram. I went in on my lunch hour; had a repeat mammogram, which turned into two ultrasounds and three needle biopsies—a long lunch hour! Two days later, I had my diagnosis--stage I invasive ductal carcinoma. A lumpectomy was two weeks later, followed by 6 chemos, 33 radiation treatments, and 1 year of Herceptin infusions. I am on a 5 to 10-year estrogen blocker.

The cancer journey is not an easy one. It is unique to each one of us. I pray that you each will find your blessings on this unasked for journey, as have I, Susan “Victorious” - Victorious over cancer! Victorious in God!

Susan "Victorious" Heimbigner
Sumter, SC

My Little Hero

I had just turned 42 and cancer was the last thing on my mind as I was busy looking after my son that just happened to be blessed with Down Syndrome. He was always very active and at times be a bit rough. This particular day we were rough housing when by accident my little boy kneed me in the breast. It hurt at first but did not think anything sinister was going on. I left it a week but on examining my breast I felt a mass not a lump as such, in the back of my mind I thought something was not right. I went and saw my local GP and he got me an appointment to have an ultrasound and if needed a biopsy the following morning. A few days later I was back in the doctors surgery and was told the 3 most dreaded words " You have cancer". Within a month I had visits to my oncologist and surgeon to discuss my options and I decided that I would go having my right breast removed with no reconstruction and we also discussed having the left breast removed at some point as well. The surgery day came and went and the results came back that I had grade II infiltrating (multifocal) ductal carcinoma, with an axillary clearance as 28/32 nodes tested positive for cancer. I had 6 rounds of chemo,5 weeks of radiotherapy and 12 months of Herceptin. Last Jan had my left breast removed without reconstruction. Whilst going through all of this my marriage broke down but the one thing that kept me going was the strength of my little boy.

I have been told that I will not be cured of this insidious disease so have to live with it and if any issues come up we will deal with it! I am now on hormone blockers. I am going to fight this the only way I can with boxing gloves on as I have a little boy that needs me to be around as long as I can as he is only 7

Deb Lagden
Adelaide, Australia

hope to help someone

I write this is the hope that someone sees it and thinks-well is she got through it than so can I. It all began 7 years ago when my teenage daughter passed away suddenly. We buried my father in law and my daughters father within the next 6 months. I also had back and neck surgery over the next 2 yrs. Then I found the lump..not a what can this be lump but a LUMP . I knew what it was at that moment. And I was right. I underwent surgery a month later. Took out the lump and a few lymph nodes and did cosmetic surgery on the other breast. That was the easy part. The first round of chemo caused me to have a severe allergic reaction to one of the drugs. My doc was great-must of called him several times that first night. The next 6 months was a routine of work and chemo. I didnt have a ton of help at home so I just took it day by day. I drove myself to treatments and spent hours in my room by myself. I made sure my son was set for the five days every three weeks i was down for the count. I finished up with radiation.

So how did i do it? One moment at a time, one step at a time. I thought of all those other women that I had gone through this and thought if they can do it so can I . I just kept it simple. Dont think too far ahead. And here I sit , it will be 4 yrs next month. And if i could still stand after this mess I call my life than others can too!

Leslie Hutton
Mohegan Lake, NY
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