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Be strong stay positive fight the fight.

Hi my name is rose Marie I was diagnosed last June with her2 early stage breast cancer. Thought I was going to breeze right through it. Wrong! I was very sick, damage to my right lung from herceptin and radiation . Stopped herceptin and only 3 treatments left for radiation.i did get 6 months of herceptin.thank god.slecialists working with me on my lung on oxygen, but I am improving every day. So don't give up !! I am going to win this fight. And so will you. God bless . Stay strong.

Rose Marie Demark
Cleveland, OH

My Story of Breast Cancer

At 40, I had my first mammogram. One year later, age 41, I found a rather large lump protruding from my right breast. It was a 3.8 cm invasive ductal carcinoma, triple negative, Stage 2A. When they told me I had to have 8 rounds of chemo and 35 radiation treatments, I truly thought "I cannot do this". I had no family history and really didn't know much about breast cancer and felt frightened beyonds words for myself and my daughters. I had a lumpectomy at the recommendation of surgeons, chemo and radiation. I have a terrific loving group of family and friends, together with my faith in God, that picked me up and carried me through. I do not take this for granted.. At times, it was still is a lonely road because I felt I had to keep my fears to myself (I didn't want all of my loved ones, who were already doing so much for me, to be burdened with my fears). There were days when I did not want to go through another round of chemo, but I did, and I never gave up!

I am no hero, just an average woman who loves her family.

At 51, I was cancer free for almost 10 years when a 3D mammogram showed a very small tumor in the same breast. I wasn't as afraid because I knew whatever I had ahead of me, I could do this! It was triple negative again, less then 1 cm and I knew a shorter round of chemo would be recommended because of the type of BC. I decided to have TRAM surgery in April, 2014 and am at the home stretch - 1 more treatment to go. I gained so much strength that I didn't even know could be possible through breast cancer. The fear that I once had is long gone. I realize that we don't know what is ahead whether it be cancer or some other challenge. However, give back to those struggling and you will find purpose along this tough road. Keep moving ahead...

Mary Anne
Philadelphia, PA

My breast cancer experience

My breast cancer presented itself as orange peel skin. I had a monogram in the November and nothing showed up, the following March I notice my breast was like orange peel. I went to my GP who referred me to the hospital I again had a monogram it didn't show up again, but it did in the ultrasound I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer had a mastectomy chemo and radium, that was 3years ago now and haven't look back since still on Tamoxifen. I want people to be aware that it doesn't alway show in Monograms mine was 2inches so always have any irregularity checked out.

Anonymous
Dublin, Ireland

I'm a 22 year survivor!

I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on my 34th birthday. We did not feel a lump, my OBGYN just decided to do a baseline mammogram where we found the 2mm tumor that was sitting on my chest wall. Never in my life did I expect to walk into the imaging center and leaving knowing I had cancer. My doctor telling me I had cancer was the single most terrifying moment of my life. I am thankful that my doctor used her intuition to send me for a mammogram before I was 40, as I would not have lived long enough to have that recommended first mammogram at age 40.

I had a mastectomy three days later and then took part in a clinical trial for Neupogen a drug that rapidly raised my white blood cell count. The trial also had a lottery where the amount of chemo was randomly selected. I was selected to receive triple the normal dose of Adriamycn and Cytoxan. The time I was receiving chemo was the darkest, bleakest time in my life and I seriously didn't think I would survive it as I was so sick. In addition to losing a breast, losing my hair was very stressful to me. It was nearly impossible to find a wig suitable for a younger woman.

My children were 3 and 6 years old and all I wanted to do was see them grow up. I remember sitting up at night crying and praying that I could just see them graduate from High School. Not only did I get to see that, my son was married 2 years ago! I now look forward to being a grandma someday!

Thanks to modern medicine, I'm alive, healthy and very happy. Over the years, I had many surgeries and saline implants that my body rejected and I finally opted to have a TRAM flap 15 years ago.

If I can offer advice to young women facing breast cancer, is it is survivable! We are so fortunate to live in a time where new medical advances are happening every day!

Patty Haydis
Sacramento, CA

a strong woman...never look back

It all started in April, 2014. I was alarmed with the swelling of my left arm. I went to the emergency section of the hospital to have it examined. I had series of blood tests and ultrasound as the doctor ruled out DVT. Good to hear that all tests were normal. Until I had another set of tests, this time mammogram, ultrasound and all. June 4, 2014, the doctor told me it was cancer. How can I live a bit longer than five years ? I was not totally shocked because I knew it but no idea what stage it was. Until he said it was metastatic (stage 4) breast cancer. The doctor added that chemotherapy should start at once and then surgery after, but how long would that be? The first time I had my chemo was the worst part of my life. But being weak only occurred for 24 hours. I just thought I was gonna die.

Maybe God has a purpose for my life but what shatters me is the thought of how my two kids will survive without me? When my husband died 11 years ago my only daughter now 28 condition aggravated that lead to retardation and cannot live independently and my 16 yr old son who is still in middle school. I said to myself I have to ignore negative feelings I felt that time. I remained optimistic and that I realized how precious life is and have to be grateful despite my new ordeal. For I have to be strong for my children, like any human being fear has enveloped in me but the good Lord has been my peace and comfort . I know for sure He will sustain whatever is lost in me.

The outpouring prayers and support from family and friends has been my shield to this fight. God’s love will always be my strength and hope and I know il win this. For my children, you 3 will be my light and the reason why I am a strong woman until today.

Avelina
Los Angeles, CA

My Journey with Breast Cancer

It was February 2008 (age 44) when I was laying in bed and found a lump in my left breast. I mentioned it to my husband & he told me to call my doctor. I procrastinated & finally made an appointment late April with my primary care. She referred me to an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, I was then referred to a surgeon to get a biopsy done. The biopsy was scheduled for mid-May but I caught a cold with fever so the biopsy was rescheduled to June. That same day, the surgeon told me I tested malignant for breast cancer. My world came crashing down on me. I thought about my family and how much they still need me.

Mastectomy was on 7/3/08. My oncologist said I had Stage 2A breast cancer & no lymph nodes were affected. Chemo started 8/2008 & went every 3rd Friday until 11/2008. Radiation started 2nd week of 12/2008 every weekday till the last Friday in 1/2009. I had very bad reactions on the 1st two chemo treatments & ended up in the ER and another incident, my white blood count dropped to dangerous levels. I realized I was really sick when I started losing my hair. I broke down sobbing. Long story short, I am in remission. It's over 5 years and I see my oncologist every 6 months...so far so good. I still, however, get very nervous every single time I go to that appointment.

I pray every night and looked to God for guidance and strength. There were times I felt like I wanted to give up but thought about my family, friends and all the wonderful people in my life, & had to push myself to get through it. I told myself I can do this. I am blessed to have the support of my family, friends & co-workers. I enjoy life to its fullest with everyone I love & care about. My husband & I just celebrated our 25th Anniversary this past June. He has always been there for me & there for every single treatment. Life is good!

Elsa Amoroso
Las Vegas, NV

3rd time around

Hi my name is Doreen and I was diagnosed with stage 2A ductal caricinoma in may of 2001 I had bilateral mastec did chemo and radaitation. 13 YEARS later i was having trouble swallowing went to the dr, and found a 11cm mass in my chest wall yes it it hit me hard but I knew I kicked it's butt once I can certainly do it again. I began chemo and after one treatment I was able to swallow, now this time around I had become a Christian and had more support and prayers than anyone can imagine also my son was now 13 so he saw everything the first time he was only a baby. I made sure I stood strong and fought as hard as I could. After about a year of chemo we did PET scan and PRAISE GOD the dr. said "it's gone" woo hoo party time but I had to do once a month maintance chemo which i did. I began to notice something on my thyroid getting bigger so we did a FNA and low and behold the BC had once again shown it's ugly head but the good news is, that it is only on my thyroid and no where else. So I am currently taking a chemo pill and going for radaitaion every day and Yee haaa THE TUMOR IS SHRINKING AT A RAPID RATE AFTER ONLY 3 WEEKS OF TREATMENT. I set aside prayer time every morning for healing to be poured into me and I truly believe that my faith and positive outlook I WILL SURVIVE YET AGAIN.

Stay strong my sisters and fight on.

Doreen Squitieri
Elmwood Park, NJ

I'm a WARRIOR

I was 17 years old the first time I was diagnosed with Cancer in 1993. I had Hodgkins Lymphoma. After 11 weeks of radiation therapy, I was in remission for 12 years.

In the fall of 2005, when I was 29 years old, I was diagnosed with a recurrence of Hodgkins. I was married by this time in my life. My son was 4 and my daughter was 13 months old. I had to fight for my family. I went through 6 months of chemotherapy and was in remission again.

Seven years later, after 6 months of unexplained headaches, in May of 2013, I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor, the size of an egg on my cerebellum. The tumor was believed to be a result of the radiation I had had 20 years prior. I had a resection of the tumor, it was removed and no further treatment was necessary.

In March of 2014, just 10 short months later, while doing a self breast exam, I had a bloody nipple discharge. I was diagnosed with stage II invasive ductal carcinoma in my right breast. I opted for the double mastectomy immediately. After talking with my surgeon and the odds she gave me of it recurring or happening in the other breast, I knew I made the right decision. I underwent genetic testing to determine if I was carrying the BRCA gene. I had to know for my children. Thankfully all of the genetic testing was negative. I was blessed that I did not have to have chemo or radiation. My oncologist feels very strongly that the breast cancer I had was also secondary to the radiation I had in 1993 just like the brain tumor.

I finished my last semester of college in Summer 2014. All this while battling breast cancer. Never give up on your dreams.

The tumor in my breast couldn't be felt, it was only seen on a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. I urge all women to do self exams and get regular mammograms.

My faith in GOD has carried me through this storm.

Jennifer Councilman
Creedmoor, NC

Sixteen Years

To all my fellow Surviors;

This message is to all those (Male & Female) survivors that have been diagnoised with Breast Cancer recently or are now living healthly lives. I was diagnoised in August of 1998, the most devisating moment of my life. After finding the lump, I went to the doctor and received that unwanted report..."you have breast cancer", after that I didn't hear anything else, my body went numb. At the time I was diagnoised, I was going through a nasty divorce, buying a home and my daughter (my only child) had one more year in high school, which having to tell your only child is hardest thing ever.

After returning from having surgery,with my left arm bandaged, tubes hanging from my chest and movers in and out of the home I shared with my ex-husband, God gave me the strength to do all of this with the help of friends and family support.

I drove myself to chemo, took my mother who was in her late 70's at the time to run her erruns. After doing all that, the affect of the chemo would begin to take it's toll.

I would eat oranges and fresh pineapple to help curb the nausea, which lasted for a few days, after that I would resume my everyday routine (gardening, shopping, sewing), I didn't allow cancer to take over my life, because I was determine to LIVE...mind over matter!!!

I ate fresh spinach/vegetables, no red meat, drank plenty of water (NO SODA). To this day 16 years later,at 56 years old, CANCER FREE!!! I sill eat a healty diet and walk (the easiest excerise to do).

Words of encouragement: Pray/Meditate to keep and maintain a stress free life, your inner peace is so important while going through this health challenge, Eat Healthy and Walk (exercise helps with reducing stress and helps with sleeping and resting your body). For the ladies, stay beautiful,get a nice wig, put on make-up is makes you feel good about yourself, for the men stay strong & handsome for you are the foundation of your family!!

Rachel Mann
Waldorf, MD

Pam's Fight

On November 27th 2011, I found out the large painful lump that had rapidly grown, was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, BREAST CANCER stage 3+.

I had no history of Breast Cancer in my family, but the fact that I had never had children, and that I had started my period at the age of 10, were high risk factors.

I endured Chemo for 6 months followed by a mastectomy with 11 lymph nodes cancerous under the arm.

Endured 33 radiation treatments during the course of 6 weeks.

Started the reconstruction process immediately flowing second mastectomy.

I am looking forward to what I hope is the final reconstructive surgery on September 22nd, 2014, nearly 3 years after the beginning of my journey.

I have been blessed to be followed by an amazing medical team, and more Friends and Family than I ever knew I had.

The "Silver Lining" also included the opportunity to participate in the Live Strong Program at the local YMCA..a group physical exercise training program for Cancer Survivors.

Life is Good !!!

Pam Clark Srtrebel

pamela strebel
CALEDONIA, MI
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