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Friends

On a regular work day in January, a friend and co-worker gathered several of us at lunch. She let us know she was ok but that she would be off work for a short time as on Friday of that week she would be having a mastectomy of her left breast. She had gone for a mamogram just a couple of weeks before and they found a spot and it turned out to be cancer. She chose to be part of a study and have chemotherapy. As she put it, "what good is it for everyone to raise all this money if nobody is willing to be part of the studies." The chemotherapy was very hard on her and twice she was literally so sick she almost died. (The first time because she got so dehydrated and lost almost all of her fluids in her system and the second time when the chemo ruptured a stomach ulcer and she almost bled to death.)

Throughout all of this she has had a wonderful attitude and has encouraged all her friends to be sure and have their mamograms. (Two women in our group of friends that had never had one before had them!) Pat is my inspiration and my hero. I admire her not just for making it through all of this but for her attitude. I have never once seen nor heard her feel sorry for herself. She always has a smile and has been able to laugh through it all. Thank you Pat for being a part of my life.

Brynda Edwins
Vancouver, WA

My sister and cancer

My beautiful sister Maggie was diagnosed with breast cancer stage II in 2008 the week before Thanksgiving. She started extensive chemo, and was told she had to have a masectomy, during one of her scans they also found a dark spot on her liver, which later they found out was cancer. In May 2009 she had a masectomy, liver surgery in which they removed about 75% of her liver, she also had small tumors in her gall bladder, and had to be removed. She went thru 10 hrs of surgery. A month later she was told all the cancer was gone. She is still going thru chemo every 3 weeks and radiation 5 days a week. The hardest for me was that I couldn't be there for her physically, she lives in Galveston Tx, and I live in Australia, I talked to her daily during her toughest days at the beginning and thru her treatments, and while she was in hospital. Her faith is so great that she had positive thinking through out an not once did she ever say "Why Me". She is an RN and the most caring woman. During her toughest moments she held on, thru the pain, thru the hair loss and when she couldn't get up she never gave up. She went thru excruciating pain when she had her 1st dose of Triple chemo, 1 month before her surgeries. She has amazing friends and family that have stood by her and she is thankful. She believes things happen for a reason, On 03/20/2009 we lost our dad to liver cancer.

Her courage and her Faith are amazing, for what she has gone thru.

She is the strongest woman I have ever know, and she is my sister.

I love you sis...

Nora Lucas
Baxter, Australia

Today I got the all clear!

5 years, 4 months and 25 days ago (but hey! Who's counting?) I was diagnozed with breast cancer. Less than 2 1/2 months later the lump had gone and I was starting on the road to recovery. Today I went to the hospital and they have discharged me. I am so happy I want to shout it from the rooftops!

Roz Callaghan
Nottingham, United Kingdom

Mom

My Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994, she had a mastectomy and routine mammograms after that. In 2000 she was diagnosed with cancer of the lung and neck. She underwent surgery, chemo and radiation after it spread to her bones. She lost her battle in Jan of 2008. I click everyday in memory of mom and to help others to have mammograms to help save them. Love ya and Miss ya mom.

Pat
Farmington, MO

My Moms

I was born on March 24, 1961. On July 27, 1962 my 1st Mom lost her fight with breast cancer. My Dad remarried and his 2nd wife lost her fight with Breast Cancer on July 2, 2000.

My Mother in law is currently cancer free (Breast) for 6 years. She had 1 breast removed.

My husband gets a laugh at all of the "pink" that I wear from your site.

He has joined me to do "Relay for Life for @ 7 or 8 years now.

I can only hope that my small part will save at least 1 Mom.

Their Daughter

Marilyn

Marilyn Benkert
Muskegon, MI

My hic-cup in life

I found my lump by self-exam. It so scary to me, but I forced myself to have it checked out. It was the size of a pea. I had a biopsy which confirmed it was cancer. (I have always been very afraid of hospitals, shots, and so on.)

The surgeon told me I could have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy and I decided on a mastectomy. I had surgery 4 weeks after finding the lump and the cancer had spread through the entire breast and all but one lymphnode. I was very glad I took control by having a mastectomy.

I also took control of my chemo by shaving my head before starting. My husband shaved his head in support. I also had radiation to make certain no cancer was left. I worked the entire time of my treatment. I am now one year cancer free!

If I were to change anything about my hic-cup in life, I would not have had a biopsy.

Kerrie

Kerrie
Anaconda, MT

Four little words and my Hero's

In 2005 I heard those four little words "you have breast cancer". The tears came instantly. I didn't hear another word the Dr. was saying. Shock took over my very existance for that moment. Those four little words suddenly became huge. One of those words took over my life for several months as I fought to win the war against it. During that fight I had a mastectomy of the left breast and was fortunate to be able to have reconstructive surgery. I am now cancer free and have been for four years. I hope I never have to hear those four little words again and I hope that other women never have to hear them either. Thank you to the people who provide and support the cause to cure this terrible desease.

My friends and family tell me that I am their hero but I disagree, they are MY hero's every one of them. They stood beside me and encouraged me every step of the way. Thank you.

So I say to every one, hang in there ladies, there is hope.

Diana Yurkovitch
Marysville, WA

On Remission since October 2007

I was diagnosed with left breast cancer May 2007 and a week later I had a Lumpectomy with a Sentinel Node Procedure and five days later I needed another Lumpectomy as there were residuals of cancer. Three weeks later I had the port inserted to begin Chemotherapy for which I had six sessions and after Radiation provided through a catheter that was inserted on my left breast. Radiation was for only for five days, twice a day. Ever since, I have been on remission and all I can say it wasn't easy but with the help of my family, my doctors and my co-workers who took care of me and were there for me at all times, made my life much easier. I had my mammograms performed on a yearly basis and thanks to this it was caught on time and my advise to everyone to do their mammogram on a yearly basis; I myself am here because of it.

Juana Maldonado
Miami, FL

Thank God and Dr. Kevin Cockerill

Thank God and Dr. Kevin J. Cockerill--(Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fl.) on Sept. 23, 2009, I will celebrate 21 years cancer free. On Sept. 23, 1988, I was wheeled into surgery and had a radical mastectomy.with a worried daughter at my side....today I am a very happy grandmother of two boys ages 10 and 7...had it not been for the Grace of God and the knowledge of Dr. Cockerill, I know this would not be possible

Jackie Day
Jacksonville, FL

Remember to take time for yourself

May 11, 2000: "They said it's Breast Cancer". Those were my mother's calm words to us during the family meeting that was called and words that will haunt me for the rest of my life. As I sat in disbelief I'm thinking to my self, "Breast Cancer, what? There's no history of Breast Cancer in our family, this has to be wrong". Well, not only was it NOT wrong, she was already in stage 3 of the disease. May 11, 2000: The day my family's world as we knew it, ended forever.

8 months & 6 days later, one day shy of her 57th birthday, I lost my best friend to Breast Cancer, my beautiful mother.

I share this with you because I don't want anyone to ever have to experience what my family and I have had to experience and still continue to experience today and everyday. The unnecessary loss of someone you love and cherish to your very core.

My mother was selfless & always busy doing things for others along with taking care of others. Had she remembered to take the time for herself & had her annual mammogram, this unnecessary & heartbreaking loss could have been prevented as we have learned; you don't have to have any Breast Cancer history in your family to fall victim to this disease.

An estimated 192,370 new cases will be reported in 2009. Please take the time, get your annual mammograms. Please, remind all those beautiful women in your life, mothers, sisters, wife, daughters, nieces, grandmothers, neighbors, friends, etc. that early detection is the only way to prevention.

I've supported this amazing site for many years. Wouldn't it be wonderful if 2009 was OUR year!

Please do your part and what you can in the hopes of finding a cure!

Carie Brockus
Rialto, CA
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