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1 year 6 months clean

In Jan. 2013 I was told I had carcinoma in situ. I went for a check up on a mole I had removed and I was floored when the Dr. told me this. I cried all the way home. Once I had time to think about it I knew there only one option for me "double mastectomy" I wanted this out of my body real quick! Shortly after I had the surgery. It was like no pain I ever felt before because I can not take any pain meds I seem to have a reaction to all. 4 weeks of ultimate torture. It got easier. I elected for reconstruction, but it failed. So 2 operations to take off all the extra skin was needed. Nothing to that. I just went back for my check up and the Dr. told me he feels 99% sure it did not spread any where and I will not get it back in the breast walls. I refused any other treatments. I feel I am cancer free now and for the grace of God I hope he keeps me that way. I had my tattoo put on my leg saying "cancer survivor" over the pink ribbon. I feel I am truly blessed.

Sandra Kaufman-Lentes
Ashland, PA

My Cancer Story

My story isn't a long one, but it's one I wish I had never had to tell. That dreaded word was said to me back in August 2013 by the Dr. that read my mammogram. Both sides showed fibrous cells but right side look ed more to be forming cancer. So next steps was biopsy which proved it was and more mammogram to find exact location. Then the next step I wouldn't wish on my favorite animal, I had to be injected 4 different places around the right breast to light it up so surgeon could see exactly where it was. It was hiding on the chest wall. Surgery then was done on September 18th. Started healing and went back for follow up with surgeon thinking I would be released but found he had to go back in and remove more tissue on October 18th. Took 30 rounds of radiation therapy, finished in January 2014. Also started pill to possibly take for the rest of my life. Now waiting for insurance to okay re constructive surgery. I lost 2 1/2 sizes on my right breast. All this taken place right after finding my fiance had colon cancer and was in the hospital for 10 days; having over a foot of his colon removed. Right now we are both cancer free and pray to God we can stay that way. Both if us had lost our spouses to cancer. He lost 2 wife's to breast cancer and my husband had color entail cancer

Susan Lindsey
Elizabethtown, KY

Fight like a girl face ur fears against breast cancer

I was told in march 2014 I had breast cancer.no one ever wants to hear them words.April I had a double mastectomy Then was told I needed chemo that I was a high risk and had 63 % chance it will come back.now I'm a 39 year old woman who worked everyday never been sick always on the go type.i live at home with my mother who is on disability so of course it got hard money wise.i started my chemo treatments I go every week and every three weeks for my big treatment.im also her.2 positive.my heart broke when I went in the chemo room seeing so many people fighting for their life.i have done four big treatments and got two more to go.what I have learned so far is it's up to me how this can go I can sit and say why and poor little me or I can stand and fight this demon and know God is in control and will never put nothing on me that I can't bear.i use to take everything for granted now I'm thankful for everything time is valuable .ur life isn't over cause u have cancer.no it hasn't been easy at all and this is the hardest thing I ever had to go through.but I refuse to give up in gonna fight all the way to the end. u have to tell ur I want to live.i will face my fears and know God is right here with me.sometimes people get mad at God why did u allow this to happen to me.i know I did.but now I see this is just a chapter to my book a story to be told.if I lose this battle against cancer im still turn out a winner.😊 Fight like a girl.

bobbie campbell
trion, GA

My mother's battle

This story is about my mother who passed away from breast cancer 32 years ago at the age of 47. She was first diaganosed with breast cancer at the age of 35 and underwent a radical masectomy. At the time I was 3 years old and very unaware of what was happening to her. I just remember going to visit her at the hospital. Since I was three I could not go and see her in the hospital. My only option was to wave to her through her hospital window, which was very scary to me at the time. Eventually she came home and things became normal or as normal as they could be. After her surgery she received cobalt treatments for several weeks. My father would take her to the treatments and because I was not in school I would go with. It all seemed pretty normal to me going to different doctors with my mother and father at the time. I guess what I remember the most about that time was the horrible scaring my mother had, but that too became normal. After her surgery my mother was really remarkable because it seemed like even when she went through the cobalt treatments she always had the energy to raise and take care of three children. I'm sure she was tired and did not feel well many times but you would never have known it. When I was about 12 or 13 her cancer came back again and it was then I noticed her stamina was not the same. During my freshman year in high school she was in the hospital and never got out. She passed away in June 1972. I will never forget going to the hospital every night to see her. That was my normal, go eat at a restuarant, see my mom and do my homework in the hospital hallway. After she passed it was really weird because I had to figure out a new normal. I will always remember what a gracious. caring woman she was and hopefully I have some of those traits.

Anonymous
Lindsborg, KS

survive

I was 43 when diagnosed with breast cancer 3yr ago ive been through 5operations chemo radio radical mastectomy.i have 4wonderful children who get me through everday.my youngest son was 5when i was diagnosed.too young to understand cancer.i am in remision but everyday is new day new life i never take anything for granted now.life life to the full.god is watching us.everyday we wake up and breathe is a blessing.live and love life.

s
middx, United Kingdom

Marie's journey

I had just moved to Pennsylvania to start a new life with my fiancé. I went for my yearly check and there was a lump in my right breast. I went for an ultrasound and got a surprise. They found a lump in my left breast as well. I went through Cat scans, mri, and pet scan. They told me I had cancer. Then, the fun began, not. I went through the initial surgery and found out that I had two types of breast cancer and lymph node involvement.

So, I had a second surgery to remove 9 lymph nodes from my right armpit. My fiancé had to take care of the drain and did it like a pro. Then, it was time for a third surgery to put in the port for my chemo. My sister came down to be with me for the first treatment. It took 6 hours and I was exhausted. When I started to lose my hair, my fiance was there to shave my head. I had a total of 6 chemo treatments and a year of herceptin therapy. There was also the six weeks of radiation therapy that wiped me out.

As soon as I finished all my treatments, I had a fourth surgery to remove the chemo port. That was 4 years ago. I'm in the homestretch now. I have a couple more years of tamoxifen and then my journey will be complete. I got married last year and couldn't be happier. I hope that hearing my story will inspire those whose journey has just begun.

A big thank you goes out to my husband for being there for me always, I love you. I also want to thank all the health care providers who helped me not be so scared.

Marie DePriest
Bethlehem, PA

My story

Hi, my name is Monica Abilay. October 5th, '12 I found a lump above my right breast. Prior to that I had woman issues for the last 5 years which none of the Dr.'s I went to see could figure out. I have been on every meds & creams that U could possible think of. On top of that I had no insurance.....a friend of the family who was a Dr agreed to help me out. After the exam Dr told that I needed to get a mammogram and they would cover it for me. Jus so happen it was open enrollment for me husband's job and I was able to get covered under him. So after the mammo, biopsy, & more test it came back positive for cancer. In November we did two lumpectomy and removed my lyphnodes on the right side. December we put in the port for chemothrapy & started treatment. Chemo went till April '13.......we removed the right side breast in June and started radiation & tamoxifen in August. We did a CT Scan which came back all clear. In May of this year we started the reconstructive process Delayed trams flap and in July we did the 2nd part (removing from my tummy and reconstructing the breast). I am a mother of four beautiful children, a wife to my husband Ronnie, a sister, & a daughter. Through out the last two years I kept a positive attitude knowing that breast cancer is curable!! October will make 2 years since being diagnosed......I'm living life to the most so I can be a mother to my children & wife to husband. This is my story........Monica Manulani Abilay

Monica
Wailuku, HI

3 time survivor

I had breast cancer in 2011.. Had surgery in November. Started chemo February 2012. Ended up having a serious infection...and having several drains put in...they Stopped working..was admitted in the hospital for 4 more days? Then again in July 2012. Same thing..more surgery..more drains..unfortunately doctor didn't get it all and I had more surgery in August 2012. By November 2012 I was doing laundry and had a seizure. I was then diagnosed with brain cancer. Had a 1.4 cm tumor on my motor band..my whole right side was parallized for 4 months..lost my hair twice..was very sick from chemo..and burned from radiation...but I am cancer free right now..today is august 9 2014. Miricales do happen. Have faith, laugh a lot, be around positive people...believe in god ..he helped me through it. Just keep the faith ..pray often..you may Not believe in god so pray how ever and to whoever you need to....I had a close friend..her name was Virginia..we called her Ginny...she had ovarian cancer the same time I had cancer...she passed in September 2013...she didn't believe in miricales ...I know I am blessed ...thank you for letting me share my story...with prayer...lynda

Lynda Dewinde
Lancaster, CA

SAGE'S PRESCRIPTIONS

I was diagnosed with breast cancer, estrogen + and HER2Nu +, for my birthday in February 2010. Here are some prescriptions that I received that I know can help anyone on his / her cancer journey:

1. FAITH - can't have enough of that. He will be with you and will carry you when you can't find the strength to stand on your own. Romans 15:13.

2. ATTITUDE / LIVE FOR TODAY - We never know when or how we will die, but we can choose how to live. Attitude is such a positive.

3. SLEEP - don't fight it. As we sleep, we are healing.

4. LAUGHTER:

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed that she had only three hairs on her head. "Well, I think I'll braid my hair today." She did and had a wonderful day.

The next day, she saw that she had only two hairs and said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today." She did and had a grand day.

The next day, she noticed that she had only one hair and said, "I'm going to wear a pony tail today." She did and had a fun day.

The next day she didn't have a hair on her head. She said, "Yippeeee--I don't have to fix my hair today."

Then she put on her Sparkle Cap, went to town and wowed everyone!

5. PRAYER - Prayer is the key to the morning and the bolt on the door at night.

It is not an easy journey, and each one of has to find our way, but we are NOT alone. On my journey, I started The Sparkle Caps Project (on FB), so that God could use me to help other women coming behind me. We have helped over 900 women and 4 men in less than 4 years.

Susan "Victorious"
Sumter, SC

Life Begins Again

On February 21, 2013 at age 43 I heard those dreaded words, you have cancer. For me, it came as no surprise. Although I religiously got my yearly mammogram, I missed the last one. As another hectic school year began, my daughter entered her freshman year and my son his sophomore year. For some reason I missed my September appointment. In January 2013, as I was showering, I felt something in my right breast. Suddenly, I heard my grandmother, who passed away with breast and lymph node cancer, say, “make your appointment, its cancer, it will be okay.” Immediately I made an appointment and was diagnosed with cancer in my right breast. After several tests, 4 days later, I was diagnosed with cancer in my left breast as well. This diagnosis made my decision easier. I would have a bilateral mastectomy which I did on March 1.

I was determined to not let cancer define me, I would define it. Five weeks after surgery, I returned to teaching and jogging. I continued working even during my chemo treatments. I was even able to run two 5Ks during chemo. I am not going to lie, chemo sucked. I even thought I was going to die after my first chemo as I felt like my body was burning from the inside out. I even got hand, foot, mouth disease from chemo.

I believe that my cancer has been harder on my family than me. The most difficult thing was actually telling my children. Even though I have assured my daughter that I don’t carry the gene, I know she worries about her future, as well as me.

I know that my journey will continue over the next year 10 years with oncology appointments and tamoxifen, but I am at peace with it. I am blessed with an incredible family, friends, and exceptional doctors. My daughter once told me, “You don’t act like you have cancer.” The truth of the matter is, I have never worried about it because I know I have a guardian angel watching over me = love you grandma!

Monica Shrader
Orrville, OH
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