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My little Miracle and Me

I found a lump when I was 16 weeks pregnant. Back in April 2008. I knew from the beginning it wasn't something to ignore. Some doctors said to get a mastectomy and terminate the pregnancy. After two other opinions and wiggling starting from within we decided to have a lumpectomy and keep the baby. My angel wiggling was her way of telling me she was ready for the journey. My baby and I went thru surgeries and a round of chemo (chemo that does not go thru the placenta). I had stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma. My margins were clear and my nodes were negative. I delivered my beautiful baby at 37 weeks with no problems. She is just perfect. She was born with a full head of hair unlike her mommy. :-) I then started a 2nd round of weekly chemo. Then 7 weeks of radiation and now I am on Tamoxifen. Here we are one year later from finding the lump with a very happy 7 month old. Though I have my moments and I am always scared it will come back, I have a lot to be thankful for. I truly believe that my daughter helped me find the cancer and helped me get thru the nightmare. I wish I could help other women and get the word out to never ever ignore a lump especially when you are pregnant.

Dina Gillis
Doylestown, PA

Not What We Wish For

I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer August 20th of 2008. I chose to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy. The breast surgeon I was referred to was an angel. I am uninsured and I was very concerned with all the medical expenses. She sensed my concerns and told me she would not charge me for her services. I had been in the medical field previously for 10 years. I didn't think there were Dr.'s out there that still cared about the patient more than the money. My surgery was originally scheduled on September 23rd. I went the day before surgery and got my bloodwork and x-rays done. When I got to the hospital the next day for surgery I was told that it was postponed, they told me they could reschedule it in 4 weeks. I told my husband I couldn't wait another month. We talked to the Dr.'s and they agreed to do it the next tuesday which was the 30th of September. One thing I hadn't wanted was to have the surgery on anyone's birthday. As it turned out the 30th of September was my husband's. After the surgery, my husband was the ideal caretaker. He helped me drain the tube that was still in my chest cavity. I have never gone to a Dr.'s appointment by myself. He was and still is my rock. He was there for 3-5 hours of chemo every 3 weeks and bloodwork every week. I am now done with chemo and am in the reconstruction stage. I am feeling stronger everyday. I do believe that there is a reason this happened to me and even though I don't know why, I am anxious to see what God has in store for me. My prayers and thoughts to all other survivors.

Anonymous
Palo Pinto, TX

My Journey Through Grace And Mercy!

Hello,

My name is Ruth Smith and I was diagnosed with Carcinoma of left breast with possible axillary metastases on June 6, 2003 the month of my birthday. That is a moment that I will always remember and will never forget how traumatized I was after hearing the news from my pathology report.

I immediately underwent a mastectomy of right breast with frequent office visits and chemotheraphy for six months and required a flexible work schedule to accommodate my appointments.

During this time I suffered side effects of hair loss, nausea, fatigue, and temporarily lowered blood count because systemic treatments treats the whole body. I was told by my oncologist that my resistance was very low and I should not be under stress or duress but I never missed a day of caring for my husband who had a stroke in 2000 and I help my oldest daughter who is bed ridden with rheumatoid arthritis as I speak. Sadly my husband went home to be with the Lord on July 10, 2008.

I have an excellent medical team that promised to get me through to the other side which was strengthen by my trust in God and the support of my immediate family, church family and friends which includes members of Camp Bluebird (An Adult Cancer Camp).

I am now a survivor of five years and I just began to feel the weight and heavy load that I carried for all those years and I have finally slowed down and advise you to realize that you are not superwomen and invite you to join me as I hold on, if you are in a similar situation.

Ruth Newsome Smith
Jackson, MS

My Friend Annie

To My Friend Annie

My friend Annie had breast cancer. Her hair was long and beautiful. When she told me I was very upset because I knew someone that had died of breast cancer. Annie has 2 young children. I knew this was hard for her. Having cancer is hard for anyone. She had the tumor removed. The tumor was so big that the doctors said she should have had her breast removed but she was under and hadn't given consent to remove her breast so the doctors only removed the tumor. She is having all the treatments that a person with breast cancer normally has and has lost her beautiful hair. What keeps her going is the lady from her church that is over 60. Both women get their cancer treatments, stay very positive, and give the glory to God. Annie is an inspiration to all she meets. When she told me she had breast cancer she said. "This is something that God wants me to experience." I was working with Annie until I found out that I had cancer in my leg and had to quit my second job. My cancer was just a small thing compared to Annie's cancer but whenever I have a problem I just think of her. I know she gets sick every time she has a treatment and never complains so I won't complain either. Annie, you are great and I pray you live a long life, cancer free, and enjoy your children. (I changed the name of my friend because she doesn't know I am sending this)

Sincerely,

Your friend Terri

Terri
Riley, KS

BE A "SELF" ADVOCATE

I am delighted to boast 11 years cancer free! I went for a mammogram with an innate feeling that something was wrong. No lumps but a "funny feeling" in the right breast nipple area. I experienced a "pulling or drawing" dull aching sensation of the right breast. The mammogram showed "normal" no disease. Being a nurse, I was persistent, and asked for an ultrasound. BINGO. Ductal cancer insitu after a "core" biopsy completed. All of the milk ducts were involved. The lumpectomy would have been too disfiguring since it involved all of the milk ducts. I had a mastectomy/reconstructive OR the same day (11 hr surg.) Today I am fine and most grateful to all those who helped in my care....YOU KNOW YOUR BODY THE BEST, SO SPEAK UP. If you are in error, SO BE IT. You have every thing to gain.....LIFE.

Sally Hudson
Wilmette, IL

My Father is a survivor!

My father is a 75yr old african american male, diagnoised with stage 1 breast cancer at 72yrs old. He noticed a lump in his left breast that he said had been there for a while and has began to bother him. When he went for his regular checkup, we mentioned it to his physician. His physician ordered a biospy, the results came back. He was told that he has breast cancer, his sister who is 90yrs old, is a breast cancer survivor and has had a masectomy. My father had a left breast masectomy also. He did not do any radiation therapy or chemo. My father is on the poster for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure poster for 2008. He is the father of 4 girls and we make sure we get our mammograms on time because we know that breast cancer runs in our gens. My father is proud to speak out about his cancer to let other males know that it could happen to them. My father, Donald Dennis is a real trooper!

JENNITA PRICE
KANSAS CITY, MO

Glad to be a Survivor

In 1961 my mother died of breast cancer aged 42. 37 yrs later after my 2nd mammogram a small mass was dicovered in my breast. This did not require treatment. At my next mammogram in 2002 another small lump was found. I then had an ultrasond scan and 3 needle bi-opsies to confirm that this time it was cancer.

I had a lumpectomy and sentinal nodes removed. Fortunately the nodes were clear. I had grade 3 cancer. After consultation with the consutants I made an informed choice about my treatment. I opted not to have chemotherapy but did proceed with 26 radiotherapy treatments. I took Tamoxiphen for 4yrs. I then developed pre-cancer cells in my cervix and skin. These were successfully treated. I was then given a new cancer drug for 1yr.

In 2006 I had a lump on my neck, which started alarm bells ringing. My GP fearing cancer, started me immediately on strong antibiotics and sent me for biopsies. 5 needle biopsies were taken and were, thankfully, cancer free. 6 wks later I danced at my sons wedding. In 2007 I was given the all clear.

I do self examination and go for routine mammograms. Neither of the lumps that I have had could be detected by physical examination and were only discovered by having mammograms. I'm so grateful for this. Where would I be without them. I am also delighted to 'click' daily so that others may benefit as I have done. Keep up the good work.

Lyn Mason
Glasgow, United Kingdom

My Journey, an answer to prayer without a cure.

First Diagnosed with Breast cancer in 1992 at the age of twenty eight, I was scared to death. Having two young children ages 18 months and 3 yrs. old my biggest worry was who was going to be their mother. I hoped I was able to see my kids grow up. I went through 6 treatments of chemo and was sure I was cancer free.

Nine years later the cancer showed up again and my wish was to see my kids graduate from high school. I went through over 50 radiation treatments and once again I figured I was in the clear.

Well once again I was mistaken and 6 years later it has returned again. It is a little tougher to get rid of the third time around.

I have always known there was a God but did not realize how Good God is until this third time around. I have complete faith God is using me for a reason. We all have gifts, and I have come to believe that with my gift of service I am able to reach out to a lot of people with my story and God's word. I have met a lot of supporting people through this battle, new friends, old friends that I didn't realize even cared, and others that have breast cancer or other diseases that rely on God. I pray that I am able to see my grandkids.

I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Jean Turcotte
Buford, ND

Hazel and Sue both battle Breast Cancer

In September of 2007 my almost 84 year old Mother discovered a lump in her right breast. They set her up for a Mammogram and discovered a small lump that was biopsied and determined it to be cancerous, In situ, Stage 0. They did a Lumpectomy within a few days and then she underwent 6 1/2 weeks of daily radiation treatments.

I have my physical every year the week of my Birthday. 2 days after turning 53, I was called to come back in as they thought they saw something different on the Mammogram from previous years. Nothing was felt during my physical exam. Then I ended up with an Ultra Sound, then a Compression mammogram. Both were inconclusive. Then I was sent to see a surgeon about a biopsy. After reading my records, she suggested that we do a Breast MRI using a Dye Contrast. That was inconclusive as well. So they repeated that same MRI test but did a Vacuum Assisted Biopsy at that time. Less than 1 year after my Mothers diagnosis, I was told I had cancer. I had a Lumpectomy. My Sentinal Lymph Node Biopsy was Clear. I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma with Lobular tendencies, Stage 1, Grade 2 with Hormone Positive Receptors. I had a re-lumectomy a month later at which time I chose to have the new Mammosite High Dose Radiation Treatments which only lasted 9 days from balloon insertion to removal. Everyone was very suppostive at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center at Aurora Bay Care Center, Green Bay, WI.

We consider ourselves very lucky to say that we are Breast Cancer survivors and are both currently taking Arimidex to prevent the cancer from returning.

We recently helped to raise $22,000 for Breast Cancer Research here at The University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.

Sue LeCalsey
DePere, WI

A 27 year survivor

I was told I had ovarian cancer in 1982 when I was 52 years old. I was under a doctor's care and was passing clots the size of golf balls but the dr kept saying everything is fine, you are just going through the change of life and surgery is not warranted.

Finally, I had the good sense to go to another dr and he put me in the hospital to find out what was wrong. An ultrasound determined the cancer so I had a hysterectomy and chemo. I was fortunate enough to never have a relapse even tho at that time the recovery rate was only 48%.

Take it from me and if you don't think your dr is giving you the right treatment go somewhere else. It's your life and you will be the one to suffer and possibly die if you don't. I give all the credit to the Lord Jesus Christ as well as the doctors and nurses who took care of me.

Lillian Cole
Belleville, IL
Butterflies of Bali Short Sleeve Tunic
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