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Only With a Mammogram

I had my normal every year mammogram in April and was called in for a redo because there was something suspicious on the mammogram. I went in and had another mammogram and they found some calcification that they wanted to do a biopsy on. I had the biopsy and it was 0 stage cancer which is the very earliest. Had a lumpectomy on May 13th and they removed all of the calcification. They got all of it out after I had another mammogram to confirm. The radiologist recommended that I go thru radiation treatments to give me only a 5% chance of it coming back instead of 35%. I have to have 33 treatments and I will go for my 19th one today. I am doing okay, just a little soreness around the nipple area but am allowed to us clear aloe on it so that helps. I have recommended to all my friends at work that they have their mammograms faithfully because mine would not have been discovered without one because it was not a lump. Thank God for Mammograms which I have had yearly for many many years. I am a 75 year old female who at my age sure didn't expect to get cancer. I have never smoked and have worked in a smoke free building ever since I started working there 24 years ago. No one in my immediate family smokes. Anyone can get cancer. God Bless all of the Cancer survivors and everyone!

Toledo, OH

You Need a Great Attitude!

I just celebrated 16 years being a survivor. It's been a rough road. I have been thru it all but, I'm still HERE!! Thank you GOD!! I believe in the four things. First, the faith of God, Second the skillful hands of my doctor and their knowledge of Breast Cancer, Third my wonderful friends and family who keep me going and are always there, Fourth the most important thing a great ATTITUDE!!

I have had 3 lumpectomy and finally a mastectomy all on the same breast. Later it advanced thru several bones. I had chemo and radiation several times. Feeding Tubes and womb vac. When I was first diagnosed in 1994 just a few months before my wedding. I first said why me and I'm going to die. Then I said no I'm not going to die and why not me. I will fight this and I will walk down the aisle to meet my husband who I was engaged to for 13 years. I did make my wedding and it was beautiful.

Life is tough and you never know what is in store for you in the future. You have to have faith in God and a great Attitude. I try to help in anyway I can. Many of my friends ask me if I can talk to this one or that one. I never refuse. I guess I help because before we end out conversation they are laughing and they do call me on several occassions. Whether they had a bad day or not feeling well from their treatments I will be there for them.

I will add one more thing, don't refuse help. People want to help it makes them feel less helpless. I always did. I felt like I was a burden. It's not.

God Bless!!

Shelley LaCross
Westfield, MA

Lifesaving Mastectomy

I was an extremely healthy 63 year-old when my annual mammogram found a small lump in my breast just before Thanksgiving. I was preparing for a lumpectomy when my doctor sent me for an MRI because she did not like the look of all the micro-calcification in my breast. The MRI also found three areas of pre-cancer so, instead of a lumpectomy, I was now going to have a mastectomy. I had surgery two weeks before Christmas and looked forward to starting the new year with the surgery behind me. Then I was told that I had a very nasty, agressive type of cancer and should have chemotherapy.

Luckily I work in an office and sit at a desk because I had to work as much as possible during chemo. I am divorced and needed my paycheck and my insurance. My children are grown but one of my sons took care of me during surgery and chemo. I finished my 6 chemo treatments in May of 2008 and finished a year of Herceptin antibody treatments in January 2008. I feel wonderful and thank God for each new day. My mission in life is to tell everyone I meet how important it is to get mammograms and checkups, and that men can also get breast cancer.

I have a lot of faith in God and I do not worry about what tomorrow will bring. I try to enjoy each and every day to the fullest and am grateful that I am again a happy, healthy 65 year-old.

Carole Holmes
Margate, FL

My Second Chance at Life

I was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer on March 9, 2005. I told myself that I would not let this disease get me and promised myself that I would fight it. I subsequently had a lumpectomy followed by a sentinel node biopsy. No lymph nodes were involved, and I was on my way to thirty-five days of radiation. I met wonderful friends while awaiting my treatment, and to this day, we are all still friends. I am on my way to March of 2010 when I will be cancer free for five years. I am now every active in the support of fighting breast cancer with the help of my family, friends and co-workers. My team, Christine and Her Breast Friends, have raised close to $20,000 in the last five years. I tell everyone that I now look at life differently and that I am now looking forward to celebrating the fifth year of my new life!

Christine Abatiello
Warwick, RI

Almost 5 years

It has been almost 5 years since my husband Brock died from BREAST CANCER. The numbers of men get breast cancer is getting to be more and more. But yet the breast cancer sites are not doing much more to get the word out MEN GET BREAST CANCER, TOO. Yes I understand more women get breast cancer than men but why should it matter who gets breast cancer? The word needs to get out so everyone knows about male breast cancer. It was said a year ago that 1% of ALL breast cancer is in MEN. Well recently I heard it is now UP to 9% of all breast cancer is in men. If you want to see a picture of me, go to FOX 13 Tampa, FL and click on Dr. Jo's site.(see below for link) Put in male breast cancer and watch as I tell the story of my husband's battle with BREAST CANCER. No person should have to go through what Brock went through. Men need to do self breast exams just like women so they can detect anything out of the norm. Then they can get to a doctor for help.

Think about how I felt the day I was told by one breast cancer site that there was NO ROOM on the home page to put one sentence "MEN GET BREAST CANCER, TOO". Just one sentence for people to click on to find out this truth. NO ROOM for a sentence that can save lives. If people don't know men get breast cancer then how can they find any information?

Kriss M Bowles
Land O' Lakes, FL

BC Survivor

I was diagnosed with breast cancer January 2008. It was Stage 1 ductal carcinoma, small, contained, good words to use when describing breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy, chemo, radiation, and now am on breast cancer fighting drugs for the next 5 years. There is a Bible verse that I have used repeatedly in my life, James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." However, I am not joyful about having breast cancer; I am scared. But I trust God because He has proven Himself trustworthy to me. This is what God has ordained for my life, and I will walk the path He has laid before me. One of my wise women friends told me that the will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you. And so the breast cancer adventure begins. Let me mention what breast cancer cannot do:

What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited ...

It cannot cripple love,

It cannot shatter hope,

It cannot corrode faith,

It cannot eat away at peace,

It cannot destroy confidence,

It cannot kill friendship,

It cannot shut out memories,

It cannot invade the soul,

it cannot reduce eternal life,

It cannot quench the spirit,

It cannot lessen the power

of the resurrection.

Atlanta, GA

My mom, Aunt, Cousin and me

March 8, 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Just a few months before my 31st birthday and a few months after my mom, her sister and their cousins' one year survivor anniversary. My aunt and cousin Jen are now two time survivors. It was the worst day of my life, but also changed my life for the better. I look at things differently now and a lot stronger for the battle was rough. I had a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation. I didn't take well to the chemo and was always sick and in the hospital. On October 28, 2008, when radiation and chemo were all done and I had my check up, I went in very scared to my oncologist. It turned out to be one of the best days I have had in months. I was now completely cancer free and I plan on stayin g that way for a long time. Keep up the good fight all you beautiful women and never give up there is always hope.

Lindsay Ullman
Chardon, OH

almost one year

It will be one year August 12 since my lumpectomy. I found my lunp during my monthly exam. I was between a stage 1 and 2 cancer I had two types iinvasie and noninvasive.I went through surgay and had 35 radation treatement and have never looked back. I pary everyone will do their self exams along with mammograms. I just got to hold my second great grandaughter 3 weeks ago. I am 62 years and look forward to many more years of being cancer free .

Franklin, GA

I'm an almost 5 year survivor

Since all of my previous mammograms had been normal, I almost decided not to have one in 2004. My daughter convinced me to go ahead anyway. A small malignant tumor in my left breast was found. A lumpectomy & radiation treatments followed, and I am approaching my 5th year of being cancer-free. Early detection - and my daughter - saved my life.

I will live to see my grandchildren grow up - and spoil them along the way!

Rose Mary
Jacksonville, FL

Linda's Living Legacies

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2007. If I hadn't been going for my early exams, I may have never been diagnosed. Having a lumpectomy and 37 treatments of radiation, I am happy to say I have been "clean" since September 2007. It is very important to get your exams as often as possible. I recently lost an older sister to skin cancer and I am now awaiting results of my biopsies for this also. If I didn't have the support and strength of my family and friends I don't think I would have gotten through the breast cancer or what lies ahead. They are all my angels, and I definitely have a "special" angel in heaven and a shining star in the night sky. I only hope that I can have Linda's strength and will power.

Jeannie Houghtalen
Binghamton, NY
Enchanted Forest Sleeveless Tunic
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