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I'm 36 and I have Breast Cancer

I noticed the lump in my left breast about a month a so ago. went to the doctor on April 3, 2009, followed by a mammogram, a biopsy and then on April 9, 2009 I found out I had breast cancer. It started in my milk ducts, the same milk ducts that used to get clogged while I was breast feeding my daughter. It's in stage 3 and I have to have masectomy. My Dr. said I was young, but I'm here to tell you Cancer knows no age.

I want you to know I am Fine, Fabulous and a Fighter. I refuse to let this defeat me. I was once told You need to stop waiting for the storm to pass, and learn to dance in the Rain, and that's what I plan on doing...

Tamiko Edwards
Twin Cities, MN

My Mom, my heart...

My mom is a survivor, 3 times breast cancer. She's been cancer free for 6 years now!!!!!!!!!!!! I love her, and she is my strength. Thank God for my mom.

Crystal
Potosi, MO

Downwind Victim

My sweet mother always told us we would never have cancer because no one in our family had cancer. What a wonderful dream, but not true. Our own government gave her cancer. They had set up nuclear testing about 50 miles from our small town of Tonopah, Nevada. My brother even drove security trucks around the perimeter of the site and in the tunnels where the uranium was being tested and bombs exploded. My mother died when she was 80 years old after fighting cancer for three years. I helped her get a lawyer and made sure she had all the paperwork to send to the government to make sure she got all the fifty thousand dollars that they offered her for destroying her life. My brother died two years ago, with several causes for his death, and I am not sure if he had cancer or not, but he had a great deal of bad health problems. When we were in junior high school, in Tonopah during those tests (the above ground ones). We were taken out of classes to watch the mushroom cloud go over. I have been blessed, so far I do not have cancer.

Anonymous
Florence, OR

diagnosed with breast cancer at 27 years old

At a routine OB appmt I mentioned that I had a lump in my breast. After an exam the doctor said that it was probably a clogged milk duct and she recommended to try a hot pack or warm water in the shower to try and loosen it up. She thought it was highly unlikely that it was breast cancer because of my age and because I had no family history of breast cancer. I asked for an ultrasound anyway to be on the safe side. 2 months later I had an ultrasound, which turned into a same-day biopsy since the doctor couldn't really tell what he was looking at. A week later I was diagnosed with ductal cell carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which meant that the breast cancer was in the milk duct, stage 0 cancer. Following my mastectomy a tissue analysis found that I actually had small amounts (2 mm) of invasive breast cancer, stage 1. I think that awareness is important even for young women. All of the doctors that I saw made a comment about me being too young. There is no such thing. Be aware of your body and any changes that might occur. No one can be too safe.

I have been cancer free for 1 full year now....hopefully many more.

RSA
Los Angeles, CA

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

TEN YEARS CANCER FREE

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.

Anonymous
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

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.

Anonymous
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
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