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40th Birthday Present

In April 2006, I turned 40 years old and my doctor decided that it was time to schedule my first mammogram. In late June 2006, I went in for what I thought at the time would be a routine scan. Little did I expect in the following weeks I would face a core biopsy, mastectomy, and lumpectomy. I was diagnosed with Stage IIB breast cancer. Chemotherapy, radiation, and herceptin followed. I can say that this was the hardest 18 months of my life but also the most eye opening. I took being healthy for granted. I took everything for granted. Going through treatment and being in constant contact with cancer patients, made me realize how lucky I was. I was one of the fortunate patients whose cancer was caught early. Having my mammogram, saved my life!

I am 2 1/2 years out of major treatment waiting patiently for that 5 year mark. I take tamoxifen daily and see the doctor every six months. I still get scared everytime there is blood work or a scan, but I don't live my life in constant fear. I am a fighter and a survivor.

I have read many stories on this website as well as other breast cancer sites and those stories pulled me through some very rough days. Knowing that others felt the same way I did gave me comfort, some sense of normal.

I have been very lucky to have such great support from my family, my best friend, Debbie (also a breast cancer survivor), my co-workers/friends, and the entire Cancer Care staff. Always remember, it is the people in your life that is important, so please take care of yourself and the people close to your heart.

Live, Laugh, Love

Jackie Reynolds
Decatur, IL


My loving mother had breast cancer. She was so caring and so craftsy I dont really remember much about her because i was young but she loved scrapbooking and sewing and JUST EVERYTHING!!! she was so nice to me and my 5 other siblings. She had the strength to pick us up almost everyday from the bus stop on her scooter. One time she went to go get the mail and she fell. she had to get a hip replacement. She is just so nice. There aren't enough words to describe the love she shared with everyone. She was also a clown she just loved to make people happy. Two years after I was born she was diagnosed with breast cancer. i hope you know this is just a kid writing this story. My brothers dont like to talk about her but I love to. It just makes me feel so good to remember the fun times. I can't tell you much but I can tell you that mommy died of cancer. It was so sad. I lost my BEST FRIEND in the WHOLE world. But I will always remember her. Especially when people call me a little Barbara. That just makes my day.

Lexington, KY


I had a wonderful sister Julie, she was 3 years older than I. Two weeks after her 50th birthday she found a lump in her left breast, it was quite large, she underwent a radical mastectomy and lymph clearance. She also had polycystic kidney disease which meant treatment was not a real option in her opinion. She died just after her 51st birthday. I went along to have a mammogram a couple of months after she died. I was 48, had never found any lumps on breast self examination and was totally stunned when the results came back abnormal. I had a wide local excision to remove the atypical columnar hyperplastic cells. Every year I have my check up and so far so good. I owe my life to my sister. Her death made me go and have the test that showed up abnormal. Julie left behind three beautiful children, two of whom have since her death had beautiful babies that unfortunately she will never know. There was no family history of breast cancer as far as I can determine and even with breast self examination I still had no idea that I had a potential problem.

Julie will live on in the hearts and the memories of all those who she came in contact with, she was a very special lady.

ali reeve
Keyneton, Australia

Early detection

I had routine mamograms every 6 months becaue they were watching a calcium deposit. however it wasn;t calcium and I was diagnosed with breast caner at 55. I was in the early stages and my cancer was a little less than 1/8". I never felt a lump, but they found it on my mamogram. I had 4 chemo tratments (last one May 27th) and I am getting ready to have 6 weeks of radiation. My treatments included a Nulasta shot which was suppose to help my cell count. The side effects from the shot were far worse than the side effects from the chemo. But I made it through with the help of alot of family and friends. I thank G-d that I had those mamograms becasue they saved my life. My wigs came from "alternative crowining". They were wonderful. They came to my house and cut my hair. They fitted me with my wigs (I have 8) and helped me through losing my hair. I never asked "Why me" becaue breast cancer doesn't discriminate. But I am alive and a survivor. I feel good, I am back to exercising and I am ready to contiue to live my life as full as I did before. I never considered myself a victim, I considered my cancer as a little inconvience.

Cheryl Linn
Woodstock, MD

My Inspation

My girlfriend Cherri has been an inspiration to me. She has a contagious smile and disposition and is always there for you. When she was diagnosed with cancer, I was there for her. Her determination to not let this disease get the best of her was remarkable. She is a teacher and told her class what to expect in the coming months after surgery. I never saw her depressed or feeling sorry for herself. When she had to wear a wig, it was reddish-purple! She is now cancer free and everyday I think about her trail and know what a fighter she really is!

Tucson, AZ

My sister's battle with breast cancer

On April 28, 2007 my sister, Lisa found a lump in her breast. The doctor confirmed it was stage 3b breast cancer (grade 3 tumor). She was only 37 years old. A lumpectomy removed a 5cm tumor. Lisa then began her treatments on June 15, which started with chemotherapy every other Friday for four months followed by radiation. My sister's official remission date is April 4, 2008. I was there from start to finish and am still amazed by her strength and courage to beat it. She does home daycare and only took off the Friday's she had chemotherapy. In August 2008, even though she was only four months into her remission, we decided to take on the Susan G Komen-3 day, 60-mile walk challenge. In order to raise enough money to walk, our charity event, Golf for a Cure was born. We raised $11,000 in the fight against breast cancer! Because of the huge success and the fun we had, we decided to make it an annual event. We work hard each year to ensure our Golf for a Cure brings friends together for the common goal of making a difference in the fight against breast cancer.

Chelle Morauske
Madison, WI

Helping Stop Breast Cancer For My Grandma

My Grandma died of breast cancer when I was only three so I never really got to know her, but I want to help stop breast cancer because it took away my grandma from me and I don't want that to happen to someone else. I really support stopping all cancer though because my grandpa had cancer and a close family friend recently died of cancer. I want to stop this because I can't just sit here and let that happen. I want to do as much as I can to find a cure.

Indian Harbor Beach, FL


In June of 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had one area that was cancerous, nothing in my lymph nodes. A simple lumpectomy took away the cancer area in August of 2008. I had radiation treatments for 5 weeks and am now waiting to have another test to see if I am still free of cancer in my breasts. Getting my examination each year was the best thing I could do and I urge all women to have them. Betty Ann Robbins

Betty Ann Robbins
Palm Bay,, FL

I'm a Survivor

In May I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had one lumph that was cancerous, nothing in lymph nodes. A simple lumpectomy took away my cancer. I am to begin perhaps a few radiation treatments or perhaps only hormonal therapy. I am very fortunate that my cancer was not serious and could be taken care of very quickly. God was with me. I give Him thanks for early detection and a quick response by Bertrad Breast Center and Dr. Amber Allen.

Patricia Sims+
Greensboro, NC

I will not be defined by my diagnosis.

At my six month follow up after having my second child, my OB/GYN suggested that I get a baseline mammogram since I had just turned 35. I was still nursing my baby and asked if I had to quit nursing. She told me that she did not feel anything unusual in my breast exam and to go whenever I quit nursing. 5 months later I went in for my baseline mammogram when they found "a worrisome mass". That was May 2008 when I was diagnosed with Stage 2-A invasive intraductal carcinoma. After my lumpectomy in June I went through 8 rounds of chemo then 6 weeks of radiation.

On June 5th 2009, I celebrated being cancer free for one year. I have learned so many things during this last year. I learned how much I am loved. I learned just how strong I am (emotionally, physically, and spiritually). I also learned that I am not defined by my diagnosis. I choose to be happy regardless of my circumstances.

As I went through treatment I felt like everyone looked at me as a cancer patient and now a breast cancer survivor, but there is so much more to me that that. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a friend. I am a child of God. I am a professional. I am a daughter. I am so much more than just my diagnosis.

If you were diagnosed with breast cancer remember that you are more than your diagnosis too.

Gilbert, AZ
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