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What the Heck! I'm only 30!

Just after receiving the "gold star" for reaching my goal

weight with Weight Watchers I discovered the enemy,

Breast Cancer. It was a "God Shot" that they even found it.

I was having "pain" around my ovaries, so I made an appointment to see my OB/GYN to see if there were any ovarian cysts present.

I had them in the past and just wanted to check it out. The doctor told me that I had pulled a ligament in my lower groan area from working out. "Nothing to worry about..." She also decided to give me a "breast exam" and found an old benign cyst I had drained several years back. Since I was a newer patient of hers, she ordered up an ultrasound. I was wondering why waste my time, but it was free, so why not. Good thing I did. The day of the ultrasound, the technologist who performed the scan, viewed the issue my doctor was concerned about and confirmed it was benign but decided to "look around" and found the enemy lurking in a place you couldn't feel it, or even see it in a mammogram. I found out I had both lobular and ductal types of breast cancer so I decided to have a double mastectomy with reconstruction.

That was over five years ago. I am turning 36 in a few months and it's like it never happened, until I look in the mirror and see the scars or the fat that came back.

It's changed my life. I view every day differently. They are gifts, not to be wasted on stuff you don't want to do! I bought a horse and moved to a rural area. And I never fold laundry or clean house if it's a beautiful day outside.

Sheri Olson
Modjeska, CA

A Caring Woman

My story is about my mother in law. She was the most loving woman I have ever met. She always had a smile, she would have done anything for anybody. She was a loving mother of two children, a boy and girl and also a wonderful grand-mother of three grand children. One day about six years ago, she was not feeling well. She was the one that was taking care of our twin daughters for us. I asked her if it was the flu, she said she thought so, and that she would go see the doctor after supper. When I got back home she didn't look so good. She went to the clinic and they said that she had bordeau, from stress. So we gave her the rest of the week off. The next week she said she was feeling better but just looking at her I knew she wasn't. The next day we had a call that the ambulance came and took her to the hospital, she was weak and vomiting. She spent two days at the hospital they told her it wasn't bordeau she had, it was breast cancer. Also she had two tumors in her head. The news was devastating but she said, "Don't worry about me, I will beat this." About two months after she died. I miss her so much. My twin girls still ask for her, it breaks me and my wife's hearts. Please keep up the good work of searching for a cure and don't give up hope.

Anonymous
Grande-Digue, NB, Canada

Tribulation or Blessing?--Both!

My Tribulation by Cynthia S. Groff

Cancer, the tribulation I now must face

One day my God will completely erase

A perfect body awaiting me

In which no disease or pain shall be

Glory to Him

and victory to us both so sweet

Through complete healing here

Or streets of gold beneath my feet

After 3 rounds of antibiotics, steroid taper, no improvement, & 2 chest x-rays for walking pneumonia I had a CT scan to evaluate fluid on my right lung (2.5 liters!). The radiologist wanted to talk--that was not good. He showed the view of my fluid-filled lung then the true cause...a tennis-ball sized mass in my right breast. It was May 18, 2007--my 49th birthday.

How could that be there and me not know? Mammogram--coulda, woulda, shoulda, nada? Do you think I really wanted to be run over by a steam roller? Guess what?--Ever heard of soft-compression mammograms? No more fear of the "rack"! Go for it girls! Just ask!

Since my official diagnosis of Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer, June 2007, I now have ~14 sites involved. Scared? No. Complete, solid peace from day one. I have an Awesome Savior! I'm in a win-win situation. One way or the other (death/extended life) He'll get the glory and we'll both get the victory!

I'm blessed with the most wonderful hubby, family, extended family, church family, oncologist, chemo nurses, friends, and others (many I've never met) literally around the world praying for and cheering me on. The power of prayer is awesome!

Tribulation: Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer

Responsibility: II Corinthians 1:3&4 (King James Version)

Goal: No pity-woe-is-me parties; 20 more years-at least!

Blessings: Salvation, breaths, heartbeats, serving God, others' prayers, AND it's me with cancer--NOT those I love

Attitude: Keep a smile and keep going!

Cynthia Groff
Garner, NC

How to Save Your Own LIfe

On October 21, 2008, I had my yearly mammogram. I have been doing mammograms since 1995

The 10/21/08 mammo was clean. Yet, I felt something wasn't right. My spirit felt depleted, my life force drained. My intuition whispered over and over, "Something's wrong."

On March 12, 2009, less than FIVE months after my clean mammogram of October 21, 2008, during my monthly breast exam in the shower, I found a lump on my lower right breast in an obscure section, one hard to capture on mammogram. I will never know what made me be so thorough that day.

And right then, at that moment I KNEW. This was IT. This was THE BIG ONE. I KNEW I had breast cancer.

Saw my gyn on March 17 who told me--"Don't wait--make an appointment to see a breast surgeon as soon as you can." Saw my breast surgeon who found another, smaller lump during an ultrasound. Had both lumps biopsied, and learned that I have TRIPLE NEGATIVE, Grade THREE invasive ductal breast cancer in the bigger mass. The smaller tumor is benign.

Ladies, listen to your intuition. I am scheduled for a lumpectomy at which time I will have a port installed for chemo. The best case scenario I can hope for is a Grade Three tumor, which I have, with a Stage one diagnosis. This will mean my Triple Negative cancer, the most invasive and agressive, has NOT made it past my sentinel nodes into my lymph nodes and throughout my body. I hope and pray I have some tough sentinels who are kicking some serious cancer ass right now. I am also seeking a second opinion. I have had a good response from my medical community and my local breast cancer communities, but my journey is just starting.

Dawn A. Chuley
Brevard County, FL

She is alive in our hearts...

My Mother in law Rebecca Gutierrez had a mammogram in Dec of 97 it was clear, in Jan she got new health insurance. By the grace of God the new insurance required a physical exam performed by them. In a month a tumor had formed her breast they put her on heavy treatment. By Christmas of 98 she was in remission and my husband and I expecting the first grand daughter in the family. July 31, 06 she said something was wrong, the skin under her arm was pulling, she felt an indentation when she moved a certain way, one side of her body was tense. She was checked they found two small fat lumps "Calcifications" they said no worries, no biopsy needed. Her health deteriorated Doctors sent her to a Neurologist to get that tension looked at, 3 told her years of stress inflamed her Sciatica and put her into an induced coma which enabled the Cancer to take over. We told her to get checked here by Doctors she said she would see one last Dr. maybe he could find something. Mon 15, the dreaded phone call stage IV Tumor Metastases Cancer she had 7 tumors in her bones, one in her breast & her liver no chance of survival. She was approved for treatment at City of Hope arriving on the 29 very weak they told us the best thing to do is take her to the nearest emergency room. They gave her Morphine, sent her home. Feb 23, 10 days after my daughters 8th bday she was taken to Mexico where she passed on the 26 at 9:30am in her mothers home when her liver ruptured she was 53. Ladies after 5 years in remission you shouldn't worry I say you should

Maribel Carrillo
Mission Hills, CA

I thank God that I am Still Here

In September 2006, I had a regualr mamogram. I always kept my

check-ups like I should. About a week after the mamogram, I received a letter stating that I need to see my gyn doctor concerning it. I had to have a biospy done and follow up with an breast specialist. From there is when I learn that I had breast cancer in my right breast. That will be a day that I will never forget. Ladies keep in mind that I didn't have a lump,pain or any signs that something was wrong. The doctor told me that it was the kind cancer that spreaded quickly and I had to have surgrey right away. I had it on October 16, 2006. I thank God that I didn't have to have chemo and that it hadn't spread anywhere else in my body. I had my right breast rebuild; that how I like to put it and you would never be able to tell it, if I didn't say anything. So ladies just because you don't have pain, lumps that doesn't mean that you can't get breast cancer. You know when we hear the big "C" word we get nervous. But I thank God that I have the FAITH in him to beleive in his words. I thank God that I have a loving Husband, Children, Sisiters, Brothers,Pastor,church members, and friends that were there to support me and still are today. I just would like to say as I come to the end of my story that we have to keep each other in prayer, cause you never know who will be next. I also would like to thank God for the person(s) that put this website together.

Ladies remember: There is nothing to hard for God

Linda Long
Jackson, MS

Breast cancer-not in the Breast?

In Oct.2008, I had a mammogram which came out great. In Feb. 2009, my right breast started burning. Finally a local doctor told me to take aspirins. Driving in the car that day, something told me to check under my arm. I found a lump. I had never self-checked. My diagnosis was stage 3 aggressive breast cancer even though my breast was clear. I am now on my 3rd chemo treatment with operation to follow and radiation. A week ago an ultrasound could not find the place showing the treatment

was working.

We can raise money for cancer and run all day, but until people can get the word out for the importance of checking under the arm, many will die. I was lucky. Practically every woman I speak to does not self-check. This is rarer than finding cancer on the breast but it does happen, and we must speak out and warn women with our personal experiences. Mammograms are apparently not as useful in finding breast cancer out of the breast. Doctors do not know how I found the place. Maybe I found it so that I could help spread the word. As soon as I was diagnosed, the burning left at once.

Dianne Hollingsworth
Cartersville, GA

I Survived

In 2006 my best friend was diagnosed with stage 1 malignant breast cancer.

She had a double mastectomy, just to be safe. After her diagnosis, I had a mammogram and sonogram myself. I was diagnosed with late stage 3 malignant breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy and they removed 21 lymph nodes. I wanted a mastectomy, but my surgeon told me that, in my case,

it was not necessary. I worried about this, but accepted his opinion. I had wonderful doctors, who kept telling me that this could be conquered. I doubted it, but I did my best in following their advice. Well, its been 2 1/2 years since my diagnosis. I am still cancer free. I love each second of each day. I still have monthly doctor visits as well as cts, mris, etc. I will be ever vigilant. But I am alive! I am here! To all those ladies who are just getting their diagnosis, or who are just beginning this journey, I just want to say: its long, its hard, but it will not only save your life, but change your life. And, no matter how bad it looks, miracles are happening each and every day. Fight, and fight hard. Its not over til its over! Surround yourself with family and friends, with love, hope and prayers, and live! When hope is all that you have, you have everything.

God Bless,

Peggy Kelley

Peggy Kelley
Odessa, TX

Thanks To God, My Wonderful Family & Friends

Good Morning,

I was diagnosed five years ago with ductal breast cancer. I had cancer

three years pryor to that which was thyroid cancer and was caught

early, had my thyroid removed and radiation. When I got the call about

the breast cancer I thought oh, no it's spread. But I soon learned that

it had not spread, it was completely two different types of cancer. I

just got hit twice as the doctor's said. So I had my first lumpectomy

and received a call from the doctor we didn't get the clear circle so we

have to do this again. Three lumpectomies later they were going to

do a 4th and I said, No. I want the breast removed.The doctor's asked

why I opted for the mastectomy? I told them because I want to live to see

my Grandchildren grow up. I'd rather be without a breast than the

alternative. I had the mastectomy did very well and I Thank God every

day that I am still here. But without my Faith and my Family & Friends

it would have been much much harder. I just passed my 9 year mark

with thyroid cancer and 5 last fall for the breast cancer. :):) I lost my

Mother during my ordeal which made it even harder for me. But she

would have wanted me to be strong. I miss her every day.

Two of my Friends and I started giving Fundraisers for Cancer and raised

alot of money to help others. We will continue to do this.

I just turned 66 and am Loving Life to the fullest.

Make sure you get your Mammogram every year.

Write me if you need a shoulder, I am here for you.

Love & God Bless, Joyce Peterson :)

Joyce Peterson
Madison Hts., MI

Regular Mammograms are SO Important!

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, and had a mastectomy and several weeks of chemo. I had regular mammograms prior to that, but after her experience, had them yearly. I've had a couple of biopsies that turned out to be nothing, but last fall, I was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). After an MRI to see if there were more areas of involvement (and there were, some of which were microinvasive), I decided on bilateral mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. I am 53 years old, and although the recovery process has not been a breeze, I have been extremely lucky and blessed to have loving family and friends beside me for support. The cancer was caught very early and had not spread to the sentinel nodes, so no chemo or radiation was necessary. Mammograms are not the horrible experiences they once were (and I've been having them for over 30 years, so I know!) so don't let anybody's horror stories stop you from regular screening. Had I not gone for my regular mammogram, what was for the most part non-invasive cancer could have been a different case entirely. Early detection and aggressive treatment is key. They are only boobs, and they can be replaced, but a life is much more important and irreplaceable--get those mammogams early and as often as recommended for your medical and family history. I am one of the lucky ones--and blessed beyond measure! :)

Karen F. Ellis
Frankfort, KY
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