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IBC

I was told that I had Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I had never heard of it. My Doctors said it's the worst of the worst. I read about it and figured I was going to die. I was wrong. I had chemo,surgery,radiation and herceptin. I had all the nodes taken out under my arm. I'm now in remission and so happy to be alive. I can't thank all of my Doctors and Roswell Park in Buffalo NY. As a group..they saved my life. Please ladies..read up on this type of cancer and be aware. God Bless all of us.

Connie {Squeeg} Cole
Angelica, NY

It was My First Mammogram

As a 37 year parapledgic, I had learned to deal with all the physical challenges which accompany bening paralyzed. I never thought or even considered that any other physical ailment would attadk my already medically fragile body.

At 40, when I had my first mammogram, a lump smaller than a pencil eraser was found. My biopsy confirmed it was cancer. With no history of breast or any other cancer in my family genes, I had my first lumpectomy. It all seemed rather routine, the lumpectomy, the checking and taking of the lymph nodes, and the radiation therapy. Tamoxifen was not an option due to my paralysis and the risk of blood clots. Treatment was completed and I awaited my five year all clear.

Well, my all clear turned into my second bout with cancer. It came almost five years to the exact date of my first encounter. Again it was smaller than the top of a pencil eraser and it had not invaded my lymph nodes. I now had to decide on a lumpectomy, maybe every five years or a mastectomy with no assurance it would not occur in the other breast.

A decision filled with much prayer, family and friends counseling, and pastoral advise was made. I opted for the mastectomy and never looked back. I did however again wait for my five year all clear. Each year I held my breath and each year I made more healthy lifestyle changes. I added exercise , reduced my intake of refined sugar and processed food, and began eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, My all clear came as I went for my yearly mammogram, "Everything looks fine see you next year!" I was thrilled, on my birthday and I got and amazing gift: Cancer Free for 5 years!

Min. Denise E. Gilmore
Dayton, OH

Perfect example of early

My cancer was found very early at my yearly mammogram. I had microscopic calcification with cancer cells. I had a lumpectomy in April of 2003. Six weeks of radiation. It has been six years now and I am certainly CURED.

Judi Ingram
Homestead, FL

do not believe most of the doctors

My doctor did not one, but two lumpectomis for what was an zero breast cancer. He mutilated my breast, twice.

When I asked if I could have an implant, he merely said, and I quote his exact words, "why not just cut the other one off"

Going through the "supposed" breast cancer situation, the radiation treatments every day, I really think that most of these doctors are just "cut-happy"

Do you really think that if it were his wife he would say" let's cut the other one off"

I went to a plastic surgeon for an implant.He told me that it would look normal again. He also lied.

I have not been able to have any sexual relations with my husband since the surgery,because I feel that I am not the person that I was. The scar, physically and emotionaly has just ruined my life.

I just want to warn anyone - DO NOT EVER GO TO A DOCTOR NAMED KADISON. HE IS AN UNCAREING AND JUST A CUT-HAPPY SURGEON.

I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST,BECAUSE MY LIFE IS CRAP AFTER THIS ORDEAL.

I must admit that my significant other took me for radiation treatments every morning for 8 weeks. I hope that you have someone to do that too.

And I hope that you can let it go. I wish I could.

Anonymous
Maspeth, NY

My Mom

My mom just had her 12 year anniversary of her double mastectomy. When she was given the choice between a lumpectomy and mastectomy, she very clamly said, "I used to stuff my bra when I was young, I can do it again" Well it turned out she made the right choice. After they did all the pathology on her breasts after the surgery, they found that she had more small cancer cells than they thought. By choosing the Double mastectomy, they got it all and she is still here with us today!! Mom, you are my hero!!!

Laney Hanson
Santee, CA

my breast cancer journey

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Oct. 2003. I am now cancer free and a totally different person than I was then. Cancer taught me to truly love myself. Instead of constantly being busy doing everything for everyone else, I now allow myself daily time for just me. I sit outside and appreciate the beauty all around me. I am thankful for the blue skies, colorful flowers, green trees and the mesmerizing sounds of all of the birds. My silent "inner chatter" in my head is now positive about myself. I am worthy of self love and am worthy of everyone else's love. Realigning our inner emotions to match up with our desire to survive and truly live is a key building block to our basic foundation of healing. This process of positive thinking along with a lumpectomy, then a mastectomy with immediate reconstrunction, followed by chemo helped me be the person I am today. I like the new me!

Linda Murphy
Mooresville, NC

Hope from Utah

I have 3 cousins that have had double mascetomies because of breast cancer. I know that seems like a lot but I have 125 cousins and No one before them had it. That tells me we all have to believe and Live With Hope. Thank you to Lynn, Linda and Chris for teaching me what strength is. I am Soooooo proud of you girls ! ! ! !

My Love, Alway and Forever

Patty in Utah

Patty VanNostrand Kanies
West Jordan, UT

Blueberry Point, an oasis

Most everyone has a special place that they like to spend time at. Mine is at a small rocky outcrop by a lake, private and quiet, a place to watch the sun set, and hear loons on the water. In 2006, that place had been my favorite for many years. In 2007, I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer, a large tumor, HER positive with positive lymph nodes. Throughout chemo I went back to this little spot every day, in my imagination. I would close my eyes while the chemo dripped into me and I would return. The images became so vivid that I was concerned that I was hallucinating. It was an oasis, a calm safe place for me to go to in my mind when my world was crashing down around me, when I had no more strong left in me for me, my husband, my two children, the rest of the world that needed me strong and well. In 2008 I returned and sat and cried until I ran out of tears: fear, relief, overwhelming gradititude to just be alive. And this year I have just returned, and I laughed and sat and smiled, and cried. Happy to be alive. Happy to be privileged to be here- and there - still. If cancer touches your life, I hope that you can find an oasis, your own place, where you can go, be safe, calm, and free to scream and cry if that is what you need. Modern medicine may have saved my life, but the memory - and reality - of this safe place saved my sanity.

Anonymous
Pomfret, VT

Prevention

After a routine mammogram In 1999 I was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). After 3 weeks of extensive research and soul searching, I chose to do a prophylactic mastectomy. I have never regretted the decision.

I do not understand so many woman choosing lumpectomy, radiation, and/or tamoxifen, which leave a woman at risk, not only for breast cancer again, but so many side effects.

I am so grateful that I was reminded at that time, that we are so much more than our physical body. Attachment to looking a certain way is very limiting and often causes tremendous suffering.

Please, please, please consider this option.

Anonymous
Iowa City, IA

Sisters fighting Breast Cancer together!

My sister was diagnosed 1 year before me with breast cancer, I was totally shocked to find out that I was going to have to battle this dreaded disease also, I have 3 other sisters who went & got Breast MRI's, since mine was not picked up on the Mammogram I had in October 2006, I found a hard area on my breast in August 2007, the tumor was a fast growing one, I had all the Chemo & Radiation, but my battle was not as hard as my sisters. I was wanting to do the double mastectomy, due to the fact that I had been in touch with other women who had single mastectomies & then the Cancer reoccurred in the other breast. But I thought my MD said I would be able to have a lumpectomy, but when it came down to the surgery I ended up with a mastectomy, in May 2008, then in November my plastic surgeon provided the details of a Free flap TRAM, & I had the second mastectomy with this surgical procedure for bilateral breast reconstruction, he did an amazing job, of giving me my breasts back, & a nice flat tummy, all this for a women of 54 years old, & three children later. I am most thankful to still be here & Cancer free of 1 year, I will be walking my daughter down the aisle with her father on October 24, 2009, I am so thankful that I have been blessed by God, to continue in his work here on earth for a longer time. God bless all of the Cancer Survivors & those who are battling Cancer now.

Cathy
Pickrell, NE
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