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I am a survivor

In 2002 after being diagnosed with a small breast cancer I opted for mastectomy and reconstruction because of family history. I was 54 at the time. After 4 years a new cancer was found unrelated to the first. This time it was bad. I had another mastectomy, chemo radiaion and reconstruction. I lost all of my long blond hair. But my friends reminded me that hair does not define who you are. It is what is in your heart. I am stage 4 chronic disease but I am currently in remission. NEVER give up hope always keep a postive attitude and live life to its fullest. I now volunteer at Gilda's Club and give support to others who are on the same journey. I may have cancer BUT it does not have me. Remember to have your mammograms. When in doubt ask questions. YOU are your best advocate.

Marci Iglow
Palm Desert, CA

A survivor

The first year I was on the program for free manmagrams was the year that they found some thing which turned out to be cancer. I continue to use the program and am very Thankful for it. It has been seven years for me now and hoping this month when I go in; it will be another good year. So glad there is some thing out there for women that don't have insurance that will cover these checkups ones a year at least. Thank you for all you do and hope it continues to be a program that will be around forever.

New Prague, MN

We need a Cure

I was disagnosed with IDC on February 29, 2008, I was 46 years old. I had a mastectomy in March 2008 then six chemotherapy treatments. A shout out to Duke University Medical Center in Raleigh/Durham NC for their wonderful care. This October I am walking in the Susan G. Komen for a Cure 3-Day 60 mile walk in Philadelphia. We need a cure in time for our children and their children!

Lynn Lively
Richlands, NC

English survivor who clicks for you.

I am a very lucky woman, I live in England so get free mamograms here. In 2007 I went for my 4 yearly mamogram in the local Tesco car park, we have mobile units here. As this is a normal procedure for me I thought no more of this until I received my results a few weeks later recalling me as the mamogram was inconclusive. Along I went with my sister & daughter for support. I still thought nothing of this I had no lumps, after several more mamograms they discovered that I had suspicious deposits in my milk glands, they did a core biopsy there and then and I was contacted the following Wednesday and told it was cancer and I needed a operation to remove this area. Within 6 weeks I had had my op, and been discharged, they just removed the infected area wiich was at the back of the breast and done on day surgery. I had 2 follw up appointments with the surgon and and cancer doctor and then 15 sessions of radiotherapy as a precautionary measure. They cannot tell if this type of cancer which in my case was non invasive would have ever turned into full blown breast cancer and I have agreed to take part in a more indepth study by supplying blood and access to my medical records to help future ladies.

I now go for yearly mamograms for 5 years and keep my fingers crossed that I stay ALL CLEAR! I click for you every day as you have to pay for your mamograms. As I said I am one very lucky lady and want to help others so as long as this site exists & I am able, I shall click every day.

Jenny Damery
Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Support all the way!

September of 2008, my favorite person in the whole world was diagnosed with breast cancer. This person was my Nana. She is the best grandmother anyone would want. I can remeber the day she found out, coming downstairs and saying, "Mushka, I love you more than you will ever know". I thought she was saying she was gonna die. I cried. Then she went for chemo for a year. She fought hard. And with my dad there helping her with his sarcasm towards her kept her spirits up. She never thaught negative about having cancer, or at least not aroubd me and my 3-year-old sister (who just turned 4 in May). My sister and I each went once to one of her chemo treatments. She had a mastectomy done in September. My dad's new joke was that now she was lop-sided. I think the joking arround and having support is what kept her alive and survive the cancer.

Port Jervis, NY

Get help sooner rather than later ....

At 15 I discovered a lump in my right breast, I was quickly admitted to hospital to have a lumpectomy. Fortunately it was benign. That was in the 1960's - and we didn't have mammograms or breast-screening programmes where I lived at that time. I can vividly remember the embarrassment of having a lop-sided chest at school, because the surgeons who performed the operation told my mother that I was young enough to have my breast "refill itself" naturally. I am still "naturally" lop sided (but not so severely). I count myself lucky that it was caught in time.

30-odd years later one of my sister-in-laws discovered a lump in her breast and was too worried and scared to do anything about it, in case it was cancer. I was able to tell her all about my experiences as a teenager. My reassurances worked, she sought help, had a mammogram and luckily her lump turned out to be a cyst that was easily drained without any invasive surgery.

So I feel that my embarrassment as a teenager, stuffing socks and cotton wool in one side of my bra to try and balance out my chest so no one noticed (especially the boys), has served to help at least one person get help sooner, rather than later. That makes it all worth while.

Christine Thomas
Isle of Man, United Kingdom

Osteoporosis Warning

I returned from living overseas for 15 years and had my first mammogram in that time at the age of 57. Stage 2 Breast cancer. Surgery, chemo and radiation followed. That was in 1999. I have now been cancer free for 10 years.

However, I want to post a warning . The estrogen inhibitor drugs I was given caused a severe osteoporosis and I have broken my hip twice, fractured 5 ribs and broken an arm. If your Dr. doesn't tell you, be sure to take lots of calcium and consider some of the bone building medications.

But I'm lucky I had the mammogram and caught it just in time.

Whitewater, CA

I love my mom

A few years ago my mother had an issue, so she went to the doctor and there was some kind of cyst. She had a few appointments within one week. We didn't know what the problem was. I cried for days. She did not have cancer. That couple weeks changed my life. She doesn't know this though. I'm very thankful she is here and everything is okay. I was only about 18 when this was going on, and since then I have been I have been an advocate for breast cancer research. Anything that I buy, I try to buy the pink ribbon version, I walk in the breast cancer walks, and I click at the breast cancer site everyday. I don't know if I will ever tell my mom how scared I was and how much I prayed that she was going to be okay.

Rockford, IL

Early Detection Saves Lives

Hi, I am a two-time breast cancer survivor and being surviving breast cancer for 25 years. I was first diagnosed at the age of 25 when I was first diagnosed and at the age of 50 when diagnosed the second time. In 1984 at M.D. Anderson Medical Center, I was diagnosed with stage 2 lobular carcinoma cancer with the lump being 2.0 centimeter in size in my left breast. I had a modified radical mastecomy and treated with chemotherphy. The chemo was a nightmare back in the 80's and was hospitalized after each treatment. At the time of my diagnosis, I had only been married for 3 years and had a daugther (age 2) and thought that nothing like breast cancer could happen to someone so young. I gave up on life in the middle of my chemo treatment but through prayers God granted my life to share my story for others to have hope. Then in 2007 I was diagnosed again with breast cancer (invasive ductual carcinoma, tumor siz 1.2 cm) in my right breast and then placed on hormonal theraphy replacement treatment for five years. So now I have had a double mastecomy. I just put in for retirement at the age of 51 and life is going great. I want you to notice the size of the tumor in my breast and due to early detection saved my life. So my message to you is get those mammograms, do your self breast exams, and get your breast examined by your physician. I am more than a CONQUEROR and a spokesperson, and advocate for breast cancer.

Rixie Thompson
Grambling, LA

I'm still here...

I found out that I had breast cancer in 2002, 9 months after my sister passed away from it..I felt this lum and went and had it checked and the Dr. did some test and told me it was cancer..Surgery was 3 days later..Thought I was done and then..I started to have more pain..The Dr. said that the cancer was moving to fast and had to have a double masectomy the next morning..Went through chemo, radition..The chemo make me so sick I had a ahrd time doing anything and to stop workng cuz of it..The day came and all the chemo & radition was over and I thought..YES..I can move on with my liife..Then in Jan 2009 I started feelling sick again and once again the cancer came back..So I am now doing chemo again..Radition & surgery are out of the question for me this time..I am going to beat this..I have a grandchild on the was & my dream is to move to Az to be close to my daughter and the baby..I already lost a 6 weeks of age..I never got to see him..So I am going to go at this FULL whatever it takes to beat this..All I have to say is I strongly say PLEASE get your regular check-ups and do your self exams..This is my 4th time with this and if i have made it this can all of you..I want my life back and my dream to come true..SO PLEASE KEEP ON TOP OF IT..

Thank you,& best wishes to all of you who are fighting cancer..I wish all of you the best of luck!!

Salt Lake City, UT
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