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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

40 and will beat it!

The day before my 40th birthday I went for my annual mammogram. The year prior I had went to a different location but with a friend who was not diagnosed there and diagnosed at the location I went to, so I took her advice and went to her location! Keep in mind, I had a letter come to 1 year prior stating I had calcifications that were non-malignant.

It was that Monday in January, kids off of school and the phone rang, "We need additional pictures taken and we have scheduled you at noon." Got my friend to take my 4 & 6 year olds and off I went, with her prayers intact that this would be nothing. After the pictures, the radiologist said I needed a bioposy for calcifications that look suspicious and I need to find a breast surgeon. Needless to say, my friend wasn't thinking that!

Found my breast surgeon and was told over the phone during a snowstorm that I had stage 0 breast cancer, needed a lumpectomy and radiation....also that my surgeon had dropped my insurance carrier and would need to find another surgeon. Three days later we met my "new" surgeon who was taking over my case. We were then told that the mammogram showed calcifications that were widespread and a masectomy needed to be completed....not what we expected.

Needless to say, I got a second opinion and I am heading home today after my bi-lateral masectomy. I am now cancer free, at least that is what my surgeon said!!!

My cancer was not noticed by a bump or lump.....mine was only found through my annual mammo, which I thank God everyday that I was smart enough to be pro-active in my life!

God Bless all the survivors out there!!!!!

C Porter
Wayne, NJ

Winning the fight

My first DX was in 2004. Invasive Ductal Cancer. I had a lumpectomy, Mammosite radiation and tamoxifen treatment. I found out that year, my cousin had BRCA2, and she died from Ovarian, her daughter from Breast Cancer. My sister got tested, she was positve for the gene, I was negative. She did an immediate hysterectomy and her breast cancer was found 3 months later. She did a bi-lat mastectomy with saline implants. we thought we were through it all.

3 yrs later I had a recurrence, found in same breast, same cancer Er/Pr+/Her2-. I had a tram flap reconstruction immediately with my bilateral mastectomy. Next wasChemo- AC which put me into the hospital 1 week after chemo started. I was neutropenic. They found pneumonia as well. I was released Christmas Eve, after 1 week in isolation.. I finished the rest of my chemo and its been 18 months as a 2nd time survivor.

God never gives us more than we can handle and I believe things happen for a reason. I remember how scary it was the first time, fear of the unknown. I wasn't really scared with the 2nd diagnosis, just annoyed knowing it was gonna happen again, only this time I was gonna lose the breasts, that was emotional for me. But the choice to live a long life was a no brainer-off with the breasts.

Today, I say thru the Grace of God and the love of my beautiful family and all my great doctors & staff at DCFI and BWH in Boston, I was able to beat it twice and I am Winning the Fight!! God Bless all my sisters out there.......Be Strong, it is a winnable War- this beast called Breast cancer and you've got to fight it to win!!!

Clarice (TC)
Southington, CT

Blessed

In 1993-94 my Mom who had Breast Cancer 27 years ago was now battling Colon Cancer. I was her caregiver while she underwent Chemo. During that time I found a lump in my own breast. Instinctively I knew what it was but needed to make my Mom a priorty. I prayed to God , " I don't have time for this ! You gotta take care of me 'cause I'm taking care of her!) In March of 1994 my Mom lost her battle and I had a Mastectomy in May the same year. It was incapsulated so no further treatment was necessary.. It has been close to 15 years now. Mamograms saves lives.Life goes on and in some cases gets even better!

Charlene A. Graham

Charlene A. Graham
Sweet Home, OR

Why I share...

I share, because I lost my Mother, Grand Mother and Great Grandmother to breast cancer. I'm hoping this stops with me.

David Kellner
New York, NY

Thank you, Mayo Clinic

At 49, my regular annual mammogram showed an "abnormality". Three hospitals were unable to make a definitive diagnosis. Fortunately the biopsy was sent to the Scottsdale Mayo Clinic which discovered a rare tubular cancer found in only 1% to 2% of the population. This year, I celebrate my 10th anniversary cancer-free and "kickin'". Ladies, have an annual mammogram even if you are only in your 20s, 30s or 40s. (The younger you are, the more aggressive cancer can be.) To all my sisters in pink, God bless you.

Debbie
Surprise, AZ
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