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Sisters share breast cancer!!

I had a partial mastectomy in 1990 with radiation.

My lump showed up in my annual mammogram.

My younger sister had a partial mastectomy in 1991.

She had radiation and chemo as she had one lymph node involved.

Roni passed away 2 years ago after having chemo for three years

for colon and liver cancer, unrelated to her breast cancer.

Another sister, Phyllis had a partial mastectomy in 2000 with radiation.

Phyllis and I are doing well. We think positive!!

Myrna

Port Carbon, PA

Myrna Everly
Port Carbon, PA

IT EVEN HAPPENS TO MEN

Even though I'm a man, when I was 16 years old, and being a competitive swimmer, my bare chest was always exposed. I held several national records at the time. But I suddenly developed a lump in my left breast. It didn't hurt, but it looked terrible. I would always keep a towel draped over my left shoulder to hide it. Being of the age at where how you looked was so important, I went to the doctor with it. This was in 1956. He took a biopsy and diagnosed it at first as gynecomastia. I wasn't sure but I sure wanted to look normal for all the girls. So he decided to remove the left mammary gland just for safety sake. it turned out to be benign, yet I had a five inch scar that almost looked as bad as the lump itself. But at least our minds were relieved that it wasn't cancer. As I have grown older it still looks terrible, but I'm beyond the age of being afraid of how I look. So it can happen to anyone at any age. I thank God it was benign and we had it removed.

Jerry Masters
Jackson, MS

DCIS

I was diagnosed after my annual mammogram in April 2007 with non-invasive DCIS. After having a lumpectomy & radiation therapy I am still cancer free 2 years later & taking my daily dose of tamoxifen. My mother died of breast cancer after a 2 year battle - she was only 56 yrs old. I recommend every women do self exams and get their mammograms.

Barb M
San Jose, CA

My Mother, My Friend, My Hero, My Angel

I lost my mom to breast cancer on 11/6/08 1 day after my second daughter was born. I know she is watching over us everyday and that if she would have had a mammogram she might still be here today please take time to have this done so you don't have to write this same story my mom was 61 to young to go to heaven. Mom I love you forever and always.

Love Sara

Sara
Maryville, TN

Chelsea's Birthday

My story is one of love and hope. Chelsea Hancock turned 16 on July 24th 2009. To celebrate her sweet 16 she decided she wanted to host a fundraiser for the NBCF. Her reason behind this idea was her grandmother Julia Hancock who she lost in 1998 to breast cancer, mainly due to the lack of funding so she could get to her chemo treaments. So we started planning and soliciting donations. We scheduled the event for July 25th. At the time this barely gave us a month to get everything together. Even small fundraisers take alot of work. then suddenly word got out and this little sweet 16 event turned into a massive party. The whole area stepped up to support Chelsea, we had a free luncheon, live auction, and a local mammogrm center sent us a guest speaker and donated a free mammogram. We had over 65 area business's donate to the auction. The local news paper, radio station, and a news channel out of Louisville came out and did interviews. Chelsea's sweet 16 was an awesome success. We raised over $3000.00 for the NBCF ( money is still coming in at this time) and made many new friends along the way. The NBCF gave us permission to use their LOGO, and we set up a web site for Chelsea www.ChelseaNBCF.com . God places us all together when the reason is truly good and takes us to the top. Thank you Chelsea for letting me be a part of this awesome event, you touched me deeply with your love and conviction to this cause. Not many girls would willingly give up their 16th birthday. God Bless You as I am Blessed by the gift of knowing you.

Alicia Armstrong

Alicia Armstrong
Elizabethtown, KY

An extra scary Halloween!

I will never forget Halloween 2005. I was at work and the phone rang. It was the doctor's office asking to see me - preferably now. Since I had been going through mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, etc. I asked if they found cancer and the answer was yes.

Having just lost my younger sister to cancer in August, it was a nightmare to call my other two sisters and niece and tell them. We hadn't even had time to mourn Tona and now I was starting my own journey. Two hours later my sisters, niece and I were sitting with a surgeon. It is so strange - I went to work healthy and now I am deciding my options.

Having gone through my sister's journey of chemo for six years I didn't want chemo - I had to work to support myself and couldn't be sick. So I agreed to a lumpectomy (which they had to do twice and then I had an infection), radiation and Herceptin.

It will be four years on Halloween and during this time I have had one scare and had a lump removed that was not cancer. Other than that it is actually hard to remember all the tests, treatments or even that I had cancer.

A friend and breast cancer survivor told me when diagnosed "Your life as you knew it will never be the same." She was right - I try and enjoy each day to the fullest and love my family and friends more and more. Life is precious!

Jackie VerVoort
Appleton, WI

Five Years later and Cancer Free

My favorite all time saying and belief is... "God Is Good"... and He truly is. I was diagnosed with breast cancer September 2004 and to me that was the most devastating news anyone wanted to hear. I had watched my dad and my sister both suffer through cancer until their final days on earth. Reason enough for me to start getting mammograms at an early age. I was 28 years old when I had my first one and every two years after that until I turned 40 and then I had one every year. For me, that was a good thing because when the doctor thought he saw something during a routine mammogram, it made it easier to confirm it because of previous film. I never expected to have to fight that dreadful disease, but I did, which shows that none of us are exempted. Fearful at first of the outcome I had to continue to trust God to get me through this and HE did!

My surgeon informed me that I had Carcinoma In Situ and he assured me that we were in good shape because of the early detection. I had a lumpectomy and went through six weeks of radiation and now taking (possibly my last 6 months of) a cancer treating drug (tamoxifen) for preventative measures. I am thankful for the continued research and the constant upgrade of technology which enables the medical staff to see what the eye itself can not.

I encourage all of you ladies (and men) to get your screenings done and not think that you are too young or it will not happen to you, cancer doesn't target any particular group. With God all things are possible and I believe that one day, we will beat this ugly thing called Cancer.

Vanessa Abron
Sulphur Springs, TX

Giving Thanks

I am a 7 year Cancer

Survivor. I was diagnosed

with Cancer in December

2000.

I had 2 Surgeries, Chemo

and Radiation. I finished in January 2002, what a relief.

I thank God everyday for

the Mammogram that saved

my life. Where the Cancer

was found it would have taken years for the Dr. to have found it. It would have been too late.

I thank God everyday for the

Dr.s, the nurses and my family

who were there for me everyday

through it all.

Thank you so much from the

bottom of my heart.

Yolanda Simone
Rochester, NY

My experience with breast cancer!!

When diagnosed I was 66 -years of HRT . After a lumpectomy -was told only a Mastectomy could cure me. I asked what kind of cancer and was told invasive-lobular with propensity of 80-90% spread!! Opted for bilateral=found I was fortunate --stage 1.

On Tomoxafin for 5 months I developed cataracts--when I asked to go on Arimidex-discovered ist side affect of previous was this!!

After 8 years on Arimidex and frequent testings I was discharged by Oncologist==after I had ruptured implants of saline but with silicone edges similar to a tire with an inner tube. upon removal- yes silicone was in the cavity--well cleansed and ok. now with no implants.

Howev er I have learned some have actually molded inside and caused a general Bacterial infection. My advice is forget implants-- at 73,- I am clean and a stuffed or padded bra gives enough contour without the concern of medical problems! branning retired R.N.

Cindy Branning
Port Orange, FL

My Breast Cancer Story

On August 4, 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was after having a needle biopsy, which was after having my routine mammogram. Even though the news was devastating, it was caught early enough that I was diagnosed with the noninvasive type. I chose to have a double mastectomy due to the fact that my mother had passed away from breast cancer and I wanted to make sure that all the cancer was gone. I am coming up on my one year anniversary and I can say, "I'm cancer free!" I encourage everyone to do your monthly self-exams as well as getting your annual mammograms. It could save your life.

Kathy Sweeney
Little Rock, AR
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