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My Journey

I was diagnosed 3 years ago with breast cancer. I was having pain in my breast along the sternal border. It had been going on for a couple of months and I really just thought it was an infection or something like that. There is a strong history of breast cancer in my family. My mom had it twice. A co-worker was diagnosed with breast cancer about 6 months before. I asked them if they ever had any pain and they both said no. I had had a mammogram about 6 months before the diagnosis that was clean. My doctor referred me to a surgeon for evaluation of the breast pain and he ordered a mammogram. I was shocked when it showed cancer. I had bilateral mastectomies followed by chemotherapy. I saw my oncologist last week and I remain cancer free. I want to tell my story because most of the focus is on self exams and finding lumps, but women should be aware that anything unusual, like pain in the breast, should be looked into immediately, even if there is not a strong family history of breast cancer.

Linda Kvedoras
Papillion, NE

Throat cancer

;HI,I was diagnose with cancer June 2006.I have head,throat and face cancer.Going through chemo and radiation can be a very lonely,difficult journey.With the support of my husband,family and friends my journey was alot easier.I cried when I lost my hair and all the obstacles i crossed.Emotions seem to play a crucial part in the genesis and healing of serious disease such as cancer and other illness(and literally,laughter seems to be one type of medicine).As I'm in healing now"For me the first and hardest part was healing the mind,....Once I believed with my heart that my body can overcome the disease there was an big improvement in my general health"What I want to point out is.....Never give up and laugh as much as you can,don't forget to love yourself. Hope to hear from you.Love to all and God Bless you.

PS: Mine was in my tonsils and Lmph nodes.I finished treatments in 2007.

I am in remission,but the radiation left me with some severe side effects,that I am now dealing with.I can't hardly talk or swallow.I now have anxiety attacks.I am although thankful that I am alive...Love to all the cancer patients.

Sharon Hadrava
Newark, OH

No Bad News

When I was waiting for the results of my biopsy in 2001, I told my 3 daughters there could be no bad news; whatever happened, it would strengthen me, my family and my ties to the universe. After my mastectomies, I said the only sadness I felt was that I couldn't give blood. My daughters all went out and gave blood for me! How blessed am I?!

Since then, I studied art and have had showings, I continue playing piano and have started learning ukulele. Life starts again every day!

Rhoda A.
San Antonio, TX

Cancer Free

It was back in 1992 that my Breast Cancer was discovered. I had just had a beautiful baby girl in 1990, so I was devastated to find out that I had breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy first, then a mastectomy all in a matter of 2 months.I was told by my doctor that my cancer had been there 10 years prior to 1992, but, was slow growing. That would have made me 23 years old!! I was very fortunate that I did not have to have chemo, or radiation as my lymph nodes were clean. It's been 17 years, and I am still cancer free :)

Tucson, AZ

Breast cancer=loss of breast, but NOT faith or humor!

I went to my GYN Dr,"I have pain in my left breast." After a very brief exam,handed me a "Routine" mammo script,knowing I have a strong family history of BC,and said, "Get this done within the year. I'm more concerned about your bone density since you have been on the Depo shot for 5 yrs." She handed me a "Bone Density Scan" script and ordered it ASAP.Went the next day to a Mammo Office for the BDS and met my first Angel.I handed her my BDS script and by the Grace of God, handed her my "Routine" mammo script. She asked if I was having any "lumps,bumps,or pain." Me:"Yes, in my left breast." Her:"This says Routine." Me:"Yes, but GYN isn't concerned." Her:"Well, I AM!" She proceeded to call my GYN, "let her have it," and had a "Diagnostic" mammo script faxed within seconds! Her:"Honey, you are getting your Mammo today and if they find anything, you will go straight across the hall to US." So,I was whisked across to US, but she was looking at my Right breast, telling me,"It's only a fibroid.It's nothing to worry about." 1 week later,laying on a biopsy table,I was told, "No, this is no fibroid, this is 100% Cancer."Went to a surgeon to be told, "Yes, this is cancer, but everything will have to wait while I go on vacation for 3 weeks." It was time to FIGHT and PRAY! New Dr's=mastectomy/reconstruction.Faith, family, friends, and humor made it all possible to endure! Do not let Dr's run you over or mess around with your life! FIGHT&PRAY&LAUGH DAILY! I'm living proof it works!

Greer, SC

Grateful for Life

On a hot July night in 1998, at the age of 38, I had a dream. In the dream there was a lump in my breast. I checked it when I woke up and sure enough, there it was. It was also malignant. I had a lumpectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy. I also took Tamixofen for five years. By the grace of God, I am still cancer free 12 years later.

Kinston, NC

10 years cancer free!!!!

Hello everyone....

My story begins with a routine mammogram...radiologists found 'something' and told me to get re-tested in 3 to 6 months...not feeling comfortable about that, I went to my surgeon and told him what the radiologist had said....he did a biopsy to 'put my mind at ease' and 3 days later told me it was cancer....I had a mastectomy and reconstruction 10 years ago and am here stronger than ever to tell about it....Follow your heart and seek that additional could mean the difference...To all you survivors...continue on and enjoy the 2nd chance you so proudly deserve!

Debbie Maiette
Pittsburgh, PA

I had a feeling it would happen to me, but not at a young age.

I was 37 years old when I was diagnose with stage 2 breast cancer. My mother had died of breast cancer 4 years before. My children were 5 and 8 and I really believed I was going to die. I had a mastectomy and then chemo. I always tried to keep a positive attitude to what was happening to me. I accepted the challenge God had send me, I was scared but I had lots of loving family around me. My mother-in-law was the angel God send me to look after me, she was there for me all the way. My dad gave me the moral support to not give up. My husband and my 2 loving children where my inspiration to continue on forward even when I felt I could not take all the nausea and aching pain in my body. Thank you God for hearing my plea to allow me to stay in this earth to see my children grow to adults.

It has being 8 years (this March 2009) that I was diagnose and I feel great. I always remind my sisters to check themselves and never miss a mammogram appointment. I have also explained and told my daughter that she needs to be on top of this herself.

I am grateful to have a loving and caring family they were great support for me while I was going through this frightening time of my life.

I believe joined together we can find a cure for this disease.

Chula Vista, CA


There is this disease that mimicks Breast Cancer and it is called SMOLD. If you are a smoker, you need to know this information. Squarmous Metaplasia of Lactiffus ducts. It will rock your world and not in a pleasant way. Most doctors don't know about the disease. Because of the signs and symptoms they will evaluate the patient and schedule the patient for a mascetomy after nomal evaluation and testing. My story begins when I was 27. Young and recently married, I was suddenly struck with a pain in my breast. I went to the doctor the following day and he said you are fine. Nothing to worry about. Two months later I was in for my first surgery. Then several months later my second surgery. After seeking the advice and expertise of several doctors there was one conclusion. Have a mascetomy. I refused and forged on. I am a wife and Mother of twins. I could not follow thier advice. I wanted to keep my breast. Even with the scars. It took 12 years for a doctor to diagnose me correctly and what I had been living with was SMOLD. I have sat in the waiting rooms of cancer patients and have seen thier saddness. I have had my share of the mammograms, sonogams and biospies. Please ladies be serious of your breast health and get your mammogram! So, I may not be a survivor of cancer but I an a survivor of SMOLD. In the upcoming years there will be more information of this disease but for now please take my advice and treat your twins with the same care you would your children. Your life depends on it.

Debbie Siegert
Paia, HI

Let's Be Cancer FREE

MY story . . . well, for starters I'm extremely bad at talking about me and all I've been through, but I've realized it's important to get the word out and well, so here I am . . .

I never know how or where to start - but here goes -

I've pretty much lived with cancer my entire life . . . by the time I was 8 I had lost my Best Friend to cancer then by the age of 12, my life was and has been forever changed - my Mother passed away at the age of 38 to a very long and arduous battle with cancer and my Father, well, being in the military, wanted more stability for me, and sent me to live with my Uncle and his family, and again so here I am . . . forward to present . . .

Thinking my nightmares were behind me - WRONG!

About 3 yrs ago - almost to the date - found out that both my Uncle and Aunt have both been diagnosed with cancer; my Uncle with terminal Prostate Cancer and my Aunt with 2nd stage Breast Cancer and found this news literally moments in finding out that one of my friends had just lost his fiancee to Adrenal Cancer.

Since this - ALL I have been doing is TRYing my best to raise awareness and funds for cancer . . . I've started my own fashion line where 25% of the proceeds goes towards cancer, I've also been written up a few times (pasted a link) - basically ALL I do - ALL I can do - I will do . . . so that we may ALL wake up with this nightmare behind us.

New York, NY
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