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LUCKY GAL

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

ANSWER TO PRAYER

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

Blest

I was diagnosed with 3rd Staged Breast Cancer in Sept. 2010. First I want to say how blessed I am, I had a mastectomy on my left breast in hindsight I should have had both taken off. I went through Chemo and Radiation there was some days I couldn't put one foot in front of the other. I kept telling my husband I wouldn't wish this on an old dog. I had such a good support system and as bad as I got I never ask why did God give this to me? I felt like it was a test to see how strong my faith was. I did not waver in my faith I just THANKED THE GOOD LORD for letting me live through it. I also see it as a learning lesson that what I went through might help someone else through such a trying time. You have to have a good attitude and Positive thinking. I made jokes like well I won't have to shave my legs for a while, or my fingernails haven't been so long. I had the smoothest skin. All jokes aside it is bad but it is something that you toooo can get through. Hope I could help, also Chemo Angels are so wonderful I can't say enough about them you really feel the LOVE!!!!!!!

Teresa
Bradenton, FL

A story about just one cancer victim.

Some years ago, my partner, the love of my life, was told she had primary biliary cancer. OK it was not breast cancer, but it is just as aggressive and the effect on the individual and their families is the same.

From day one Cherie vowed to fight this terrible thing, we saw many Doctors, there were tests, and eventually Chemotherapy. Once a week we attended the clinic and she went home on home therapy on a little pump - she named it Ralph, because the first few days of therapy made her so sick!

Throughout the 4 long months of chemo she kept up her spirit, she fought back and was often stronger than me. When the chemo was finished she was declared cancer free, on blood tests, but we knew it would come back.

We lived like there was no tomorrow, we traveled, we danced, we enjoyed love that no-one could take away from us. And we talked.

We talked about the day we would know it had returned, we talked about the ongoing fight, and we talked about the end.

18 months after the first diagnosis there were new signs, she in pain and losing weight. It was back. This time in her ovaries.

She had surgery to alleviate the symptoms and experimental chemo, but five months later I lost her. She wanted to be home when it came, and so, with a morphine pump, and my help as a Registered Nurse, my darling wife died in my arms at home.

Her message is one of courage. Her motto, "Never give up"! Even when the end was inevitable, she planned for what would come next. She even planned her own funeral.

Her courage against insurmountable odds gave me courage to carry on. She said once when we were alone, "I know that I will probably lose this fight; but people are learning from this, and that makes a difference. One day people like me will survive".

One way or another we can all make a difference. I will, for my darling Cherie. Rest in peace my love.

Gary James Lopez
Mt Louisa, Australia

I'm a survivor

To make a long story short,my name is Lisa and in 1997 at the age of 34 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.In "98"I had an radical surgery to remove my left breast and nodes.I did the chemo,radiation,and took tamoxifen for 5 years.I was told that my attitude would be my best medicine.Well it was!..I had that outlook that I had cancer but it Didnt have me! I had things to do,places to go,things to see! I had a ten year old son that was my life,still is.I needed to survive for him as well as for me.So my thing,smile everyday even if it hurts,thank God in heaven for another day,take time for the small things in life. Feel the suns rays on your face,watch the fish swim,listen to the birds sing.....and live,love & laugh,don't ask why ,take it a day at a time,be strong,be you and don't forget to breath....I'm 52 now and my son is still my life sake,he made me want to live,and helped me along the way.he was part of my medicine,the attitude was the other part,and when you get so down about yourself,think of someone else that has it worse...it works,well for me anyway. So attitude has a lot do with everything you do. I would joke about everything,people would be like,but what you have is not funny, I said I know,but crying about it isn't going to make me better,thinking positive can! So...I did just that, Joking around about things made me laugh at times(and others). I had to think this way,to me there was no other way. So please,keep up that smile,look in the mirror everyday and say...I haver cancer but it don't have me!....and kick cancers butt!...so Live,Love,&Laugh....

Lisa Boyle
Southampton, NJ

I'm not fighting Cancer, Cancer is fighting me..

On November 01, 2001 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This condition may not raise eyebrows unless it happened to you and you happened to be a woman. In my case, breast cancer raised more than a few eyebrows since I am a man. Believe, me I was shocked and surprised. Nevertheless, I went through a mental experience that few men ever stop and think about, even in their wildest dreams. I’m sure people noticed that I had larger breasts then most men, but I didn’t know that it would turn out to be cancer.

When I did discover the lump, it was April 2001. Ignoring it , until the late August 2001, when I started noticing little spots of blood on my white tees. Now I am thinking, what in the hell is going on now? The spots started getting larger and larger and when woke up I would see more and more blood. The months of September and October were spent going back and forth to the doctors and taking what seemed like an endless battery of tests. I actually had to get a mammogram. They found some calcifications from the mammogram and the doctors just wanted to make sure that was all it was. So I had a biopsy done on that 10/30/01. On 11/01/01the dr. called and told us that it was malignant. I had breast cancer.

I needed to tell my family and close friends. I had a double mastectomy on 12/13/01. From June 2002 through July 2002 I endured ten and a half weeks of radiation.

The cancer has come back only once, but I’m in remission now. I continue to fight every day for all persons with breast cancer, especially men.

Sadly on October 19 2013 my biggest supporter, my mama Lora Kirkland passed, but I continue to fight on with her spirit beside me.

Ambrose Kirkland
Tallahassee, FL
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