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Time can so easily just slip by

Don't let time slip by without taking care of yourself. I was never good at doing self-exams, and just never could remember to look up the phone number and make an appointment for a mammogram. I let 6 years go by in between mammograms. Yes, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and have undergone surgery and chemotherapy. Had I had more frequent mammograms, we would have caught it earlier and I could probably have avoided the chemo. Had I had a more aggressive tumor, I wouldn't be here to tell this story. But I'm almost a year out now from chemo and a mastectomy and am doing great, thanks to all of the medical advances in treating this disease. But, please, take care of yourselves and have regular mammograms!

Marianne
Atlanta, GA

I what???

In June 2005 my family doctor scanned my chart and said that I was almost 40 and it wouldn't hurt to get a baseline mammogram. I had a mammogram, then followed by an ultrasound. After the ultrasound I was whisked down the hall to the surgeon, 2 days later I had a biopsy. The surgeon said everything looked normal and sent me home. Three days later, I went in to have the stitches out. It was just a "routine" post-op checkup. My surgeon looked at me and blurted, "You have cancer." I had no one with me but my 8 year old daughter who was sitting at the nurse's station. My husband was at work and I just received the worst news of my life....alone. A few days later I was scheduled to have a lumpectomy. A week later, my husband who had been having back problems had major back surgery. Our first anniversary was spent with both of us recovering from surgery. I began chemotherapy and 14 days later I lost all of my hair. I cried out to God as I pulled handful after handful of hair and asked Him if He could subtract this fast since He knew the number of hairs on my head. August rolled around and it was time to go back to school. I had moved buildings and grade levels in May and now I had a ton of unpacking to do and a new grade level to adjust to. I didn't know if it was first grade or chemo that was kicking my butt. November rolled around and 6 weeks of radiation began. It has been 4 years and I am cancer free. I am so blessed to be healthy, enjoying my family and working at a job I love.

Sonja West
Webb City, MO

My Mom

My mom is 86 years old. She just had her second breast removed. The first was 2 years ago. She has never complained about it or any of the other health issues she had endured in the last ten years. I am no longer as afraid of this disease as I once was. My mom is my inspiration to take life as it comes & deal with whatever comes my way. I can only hope to be as courageous as she has been. I love you mom!

Lori Cohen
Mequon, WI

breast cancer and me

i am 51 years old just had surg. March 2009 finished radiation and 1 chemo some good days some not so good. my word for today and everyday TAKE ON DAY AT A TIME God only promise. i thank this web site has helped me a lot in this time of my life so stay stong love everyone LIVE

Monique
PHILA, PA

Life is Good

I have been a breast cancer survivor for 5 years. My mother died of breast cancer in 1990. The physician that did her mastectomy told my 2 sisters and myself that we needed to be very careful and keep up with the mammograms. My doctor found a lump in my breast on a Thursday. I went for a mammogram that last 3 hours on Friday. They took so many pictures because it turns out I had 3 tumors in my left breast. On Monday I saw the surgeon and he explained to me that I had cancer. I was numb at first, but later was scared to death since I lost my mom to cancer. I had a mastectomy and lymph node removal the following Thursday. I had one lymph node positive for cancer, however, they took out 39 lymph nodes. I had chemotherapy for 8 months and now I am cancer free. Praise God!! I support this website because early detection is the key and there is nobody exempt from possibly getting cancer. I have a new perspective on life. I love each day and I don't take many things for granted anymore. I have 3 wonderful boys and hope to never go thru cancer again. Hopefully they will find a cure as long as people keep supporting their research. If you have breast cancer right now, hang in there, take good care of yourself and you will get thru it and life will get back to normal.

Anonymous
Dayton, OH

My Family History

My mother was diagnosed in her early 30's. I had a maternal aunt diagnosed at 25 and ovarian cancer at some age after the breast cancer diagnosis. An additional maternal aunt was diagnosed at 22 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at a later age. A third maternal aunt was diagnosed in her early 40's. In addition, I have a 1st cousin diagnosed at 45 and two 2nd cousins diagnosed in their 30's.

After losing my mother at 49, I decided to test for the gene. I carry a genetic change in the BRCA1 gene. I have a significantly increased chance of developing breast cancer. I chose to have a prophylactic bi-lateral mastectomy & reconstruction at 26.

Shannon Douglas-Gordon
Fort Smith, AR

I'm a SurvivorI

In 1990, I had a mastectomy for breast cancer. In 1997, it returned in my lung, & I had surgery followed by chemo. Yesterday I had an extensive mammogram & ultrasound. Nothing was found, Praise the Lord. You can also be a survivor!

Dee Humphrey
Sacramento, CA

Cancer Can Hurt

I was 38 years old when diagnosed with cancer. My chest started hurting. I felt a knot the size of a golf ball that came up overnight. Next day I went

to see my doctor. She looked at it and thought it was a cyst. Refusing to take a chance she had me go do my mammo and a sono for the first time. They detected a spot in my left breast. Did a lumpectomy the next week.. Everyone kept telling me not to worry. The old words "Cancer doesn't hurt" and "you have no family history" were said by so many... I suppose it was for encouragement...Anyway, 3 days later I received a call that YES it was cancer. Found out that I had to have a mastectomy on my left side. Went to see the plastic surgeon for my reconstruction appointment and he informed me that I had to quit smoking for at least 2 weeks or he wouldn't do the surgery. Cold Turkey that night. Thought I was loosing it when the doctor called again to inform me that I had to have a hysterectomy because my hormones were causing my cancer. Lovely. 6 hours of surgery. Mastectomy, hysterectomy, TRAM flap reconstruction, and 4 days in the hospital, what a combo. Next is chemo..Then the loss of my hair. Fortunately I had my wig and it was awesome. THANKS AFLAC. However, I did get my tummy tuck... And might I add that all the doctors did a wonderful job. The only tatoo I will ever have the courage to get. Well 3 1/2 years in remission. YEAH!! Thanks to all my wonderful family and friends. Congrats to all the survivors and may god bless each and every one of you....

marcy nighswonger
Osawatomie, KS

There is Hope with Life

What an adventure in 2008. Told had breast cancer in March, scheldued for mastecomy in April and was canceled as spots were found on lungs

and had spread to nymph nodes. Started treatment with chemo and herceptin in May. Finsihed chemo in Oct and still on herceptin, thanks

to the people who came before me. I was a stage 4; treatable, not curable but am now a year survivor and still good on all tests.

Pat Harris
Santa Maria, CA

NEVER question intuition

I was diagnosed in Oct of 2007 with the "best breast cancer" you could have if you have to have it. DCIS. I am so glad for my dear friend who too was diagnosed with breast cancer 8 years ago. I was not feeling right about my doctors opinion of my annual mammogram. I didn't feel any lumps or bumps but couldn't put my finger why I was feeling this way. She said I was fine and come back in a year. Well I went around feeling this way for about a month. I told my dear friend Gloria a nurse, how I was feeling and she said go see my doctor. He's really good and you will love him. This doctor is a breast surgeon and specializes in breast health. I took my mammo pictures with me for him to look at. He looked at them and also had me do another mammogram. When he got the results about an hour later he asked me to have a biopsy...I did and 2 days later found out I had Breast Cancer and 3 days later had partial masectomy. Radiation and Tamoxifen followed. I am in my second year taking Tamoxifen and feel good. When I gave my doctor the reason for being there in the first place he said to me,,,"Linda I NEVER question a womens intuition"

Go figure! I am glad he feels that way. Because I have three daughters and 2 grandughters my new doctor said it might be a good idea to have genetic testing done. I did and BRAC1 and BRAC 2 are not in my genetics. Thank you Lord.

Linda
Schaumburg, IL
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