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Glad to be a Mammographer

As I was releasing a patient one day, a lady came up to me and thanked me. I asked her why she was thanking me & she told me that if I hadn't pulled & tugged at her breast to get it all in the picture her cancer would not have been found. Her Dr. told her that the cancer was very far back & it was because of the positioning that it was found.From that day since I have been very proud to be a mammographer. Even though many ladies still ask, "Do you do this all day?" My answer is "Yes, I may save a life today."

Karen Burris
VillaGrove, IL


My story is simple. Ten years ago I was told I had breast cancer. It was found early. I researched doctors and found one that I was happy with. Then I had the cancer removed. On April 19th it will be TEN YEARS CANCER FREE. Wow what a long trip! I am so very lucky. I am so happy to be here today. I thank god for the technology that found my cancer and the skilled doctors and staff that were able to keep me alive.

Middletown, NJ

Whatever it takes to live.

In 1992 at 50 years old, I had a mammogram at 4 pm, and at 10 am the next day I knew I had a problem. I had breast cancer in the left breast. My mother and other family members had also had breast cancer and died from this. My doctor sent me to a surgeon who did a lumpectomy. They followed up with 31 radiation treatments and 7-1/2 years of Tamoxifen. I developed lymphadema in the left arm and took physical therapy. I have wrapped the affected arm since that time every night with ace bandages, I wear a compression sleeve daily.

I have been faithful in being sure to have yearly mammograms. This year when I had my mammogram, they told me I had a problem and would need some follow up screening. Though the mammogram was digital there were several tests I had to have before the diagnosis of malignancy. I had a spot compression, ultrasound, stereotactic core biopsy. The waiting for the results of the tests for diagnosis was horrible. I had moderately-differentiated infiltrating ductal carcinoma 1.5 cm in the left breast. It was the same breast, same type cancer, and same time of year. What a blow 16-1/2 years later.

We consulted with an oncology surgeon and we made the decision to remove both breasts and the lymph nodes in the left side. All the tests were clear of malignancy. But since the tumor is 1.5 cm I must take a hormonal chemo drug,

I have had the surgery and am working on healing the wounds. The damage done by the radiation years ago and the fact that I smoked, are making the healing of the skin much more of a challenge.

"whatever it takes to live, that's what we are going to do."

Sheila Roland
Lamar, MO

Staying Positive through Breast Cancer

Fifteen years ago I found a small lump in my left breast. Within 3 weeks it grew from a size of a pea to a size of a golf ball. The ultrasound did not show the lump but I knew it was there. I had a mastectomy on my left breast. I experience every side effort that is contributed to breast cancer. From the mouth sores to the losing of every hair on my body. To the losing of weight to the blotches on the skin. Yes it was stressful. Yes it was hard. Yes you feel like giving up. But it is essential that no matter how much pain you go through. No matter how negative it looks. No matter how bad and sick you become, never give up. Stay positive and keep the faith. Faith must play a significant part in your healing. I know its hard, but that is how you make it through this rough ordeal. I experience 7 months of chemotherapy twice a month. After that I had to go through hormonal therapy. I learned through having a Christian relationship with God that when God takes you through something. It is never for you but for someone else that you will come in contact with in the future. Someone that you will have to encourage, motivate and testify to them what you went through. This is what will help them survive through their their trials and come out with the same positive reaction that you have. Stay strong and positive!


Ann Jordan
Indianapolis, IN

A yearly regular mammogram and monthly self breast exam a must!

A yearly regular mammogram and monthly self breast exam is the way to find breast cancer.

If I depended on the results of a digital mammogram that was a "follow up" to my yearly mammogram, and a sonogram that I had in 2008, I would still have an undiagnosed metastasizing breast tumor. Both procedures could not find lump. I was told to repeat in 12 months, and 6 months respectively. I thought I was cancer free. Guess again.

On a yearly mammogram a lump was found under my left nipple. I had missed it during my monthly breast exams. Once I knew where it was I kept track of it. It never changed size, but it did metastasized and cause pain in my left breast. It was because of my monthly breast exams that I had a surgical biopsy done. Six months had passed since the lump was seen on yearly mammogram. The breast cancer was already in the sentinel lymph nodes when I had my cancer surgery. Ten nodes were removed and were negative.

Self monthly breast exams should be stressed on this site.

St. Charles, MO

Amazed & numb

On 12-23-08 I had a mammo & ultrasound, and about 7-10 days later I received word that everything was fine, so I put everything out of my mind...About a month ago the clinic called and left a message on my voicemail telling me I needed to schedule a follow-up with a gynecologist to have the pea-size lump in my left breast checked, and my world hasn't been the same since. Apparently the mammo/ultrasound didn't show anything but the manual exam did, but she never told me that she felt something. So I go in Monday April 13th at 8am to have a biopsy to find out exactly what I'm dealing with.

This has made me realize what's important and what isn't...For me it's all about family and friends, love and loyalty, my relationship with my Higher Power, my little dog Doodles...

Thanks for allowing me to share my story, may each of you be richly and abundantly blessed...

Robin R. Medlock-Hurst
Salem, IN

16 years a survivor and going strong!

I had my 43rd birthday party in July 1993 and by August, I had breast cancer. I had my checkups, but found the lump myself. (Keep up with those self-exams.) Went through a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. I went through quite a few reconstructions with the last one two years ago. But my story isn't about myself. I am a survivor, but my family, friends, and my husband are my heroes. I've never really been able to express to these people how important they were in my life. My son helped me change the tubes, and my girlfriends from work and the theatre were there when I needed them the most for moral support and to keep me laughing. They came to my house one morning and surprised me with mimosas and wonderful friendship (I so love them for that day). My husband Ken (my boyfriend at the time) was my life support. He never once made me feel less of a woman. When my hair fell out, he came over at midnight when I called crying. He brought his clippers and shaved my head. We laughed so hard that night. So, now it's 16 years later, I'm a grandmother, and I couldn't be happier. My life is a book with many chapters with this one entitled, "I have survived!" I have survived because of people like you who took the time to read my little story. Now, take another step, and give your support to those in need. Thank you so much my friends.

Leilani Tillis Loos
St. Augustine, FL

Mom and Mary

My mother and little sister are breast cancer survivors, 10+ years, and I have yearly screenings, and twice yearly exams. When I visit a site like this I see lots of new words that patients learn and share, that weren't necessarily part of the jargon over 10 years ago. I hope not to know these words so intimately but I am impressed, and grateful, that there has been so much progress in the field of breast cancer. This comprehensive site is pretty awesome, not unlike the women sharing their stories here. Keep on keeping on...

Westchester County, NY

The Pink Ribbon Square Dancers

When my Dear Late Wife Jane came down with cancer I formed a group called the "Pink Ribbon Square Dancers". Each year I run a dance with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Everything is donated to us, a hall to hold 300 people, some of the finest square dance callers & round dance cuers, as well as all the refreshments and door prizes. My Square dance Association pays for four reams of paper and our local Staples prints our copies at no charge. Last year was our 9th dance - we raised over $6500! October 18th will be our next dance. Ribbons are $6.00, and any one can contribute.

Emil Welden
Laguna Woods, CA

I feel Blessed

My name is Lanita J. Borjas and I am a survivor of one year as of March 12th of 2009. I feel very blessed because we were able to find my cancer in its first stage. I was a firm believer in going and having my Mammograms every year and found that is the only way to really be sure to catch it in time. I didn't have to go through any radiation or hormones etc. I decided for myself to feel somewhat safer that I have both of my breasts removed and I am very happy that I did. I don't have a husband any longer and if I had I still would have done it this way. I wanted to feel better about my future and do so now because of it. Anyway, I just wanted to let someone else know that I feel that I am doing so well because I have such a wonderful family and my daughter has stood by me through everything and supported my feelings in every way. Thank you to everyone that does so much.

Lanita J. Borjas
Orland, CA
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