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Saved by a bug bite

In 2006 my right breast was swollen and in flame. I went directly to my GP and they scan it with no options of what it was. Antibolic was prescribed for two days and the swolleness disappeard. The next week I went in for mammogram for both sides. (especially the right). Only to come to find out that there was something on the left side (which most cancer appears). The Karmano's center treated me very well and after a two (2) lumpectomys found out that my cancer was all through the left side (like shanking pepper on a white sauce dish). So therefore, I was scheduled to have a mastectomy done on my left side. I was at stage "0", unbelieveable! I had to learned to adjust to having only one breast gone and received prothesis (which was an adjustment). Now after three (3) years I am doing just fine. I share with others my story to help them do the right thing and go for your regular checkup - no matter if you are busy - take the time! What everyone needs during and after is support from all. There is a online service from Breast Cancer site to help with any questions you may have - check into it. Web MD is a great place to start as well. Never put your head down because you are special in all eyes and mostly GOD/family.

I thank my family and friends for support everyday and am very thankful that I am here to share my story and be apart of the breast cancer walks they provide to help all people (men,women and children of all ages).

Nancy Henry
Westland, MI

Biggest challenge of my life !

My name is Angelia Bidwell and I was diagnosed August 15th with stage 111A breast cancer.The 30th of August ,I had a lumpectomy and they took out nine of my lymph nodes,which there were seven that were positive.The size of my tumor was 1.3cm .Surgical margins were negative.I had the Her-2/neu protein,which is a verying aggressive cancer.

I went to see my oncologist the 11th of September and I had my first cemo treatment the 19th of September.I had to do 3 months of Adriamycin & Cytoxan .Then I did 3 months of Taxol with Herceptin. I also had to have 36 treatments of radiation.

Going threw breast cancer made me a better and stronger person today. It made me realize how much of my life I wasted on things ,that really didn't matter.If it wasn't for my mom and GOD I wouldn't have made it threw. I prayed everyday and had to call my mom everyday,so she could reinsure me that I would be fine.

I also have to give credit to my oncologist and the oncologist nurses,also the lady that mixed my drugs ,so I could recieve the life saving medcine I needed.

The most important person I thank is GOD his self, for giving me hope and faith to carry on and to know I will be a survivor.

This is to all the women of the world who may have to go threw breast cancer. There is hope and you can beat this disease and be a survivor like me!

Angelia Bidwell
New Blaine, AR

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My great grandmother had breast cancer thank you god that she survived!!!! She was 33 when it was found and she is now 90 years old. Bless her heart and all of yours!!!! Thank you God!!!!

Victoria
fairfield, NJ

God's got a sense of humor . . . who knew?

God must have a sense of humor. My sister had passed away in 2000 after a six-year battle with ovarian cancer. I decided at her funeral that I was not about to get cancer! So I had a full hysterectomy. Nope, I wasn't going to get cancer now! I am sure God must have decided, "Oh yes you are; there are LOTS of other places you can have cancer." So, there I sat in my surgeon's office with my new husband by my side, having just been diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2001.

"Ok, God. You obviously have a plan. What am I supposed to learn from this? I am not that strong, not like Kathy was. I am not a fighter."

There was a 40% chance I would get cancer again even after chemo and radiation. Feeling scared and sorry for myself, I called my daughter at college. When I told her this statistic, she said, "That's great mom!" Perhaps she hadn't heard me so I repeated what I had said. "No, that is AWESOME! There is a 60% chance you will never get cancer again!" Ah - glass half full . . .

People ask me why wasn't I angry with God for giving me cancer; why I didn't ask, 'why me'. My reply is, "I never asked 'why me' when my life was good and I was healthy so why ask now?" God didn't give me cancer; he allowed me to have a disease that changed my life for the better in many ways. I wouldn't trade my post-cancer life for my pre-cancer life for anything. I like knowing that I am strong; I'm a fighter, just like my sister Kathy. And I am seven years cancer-free!

Debi Loofburrow
Chandler, AZ

My breast cancer experience

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2002. The lump was discovered at my yearly gyno appointment. Six different mammogram shots finally confirmed its presence. I had a lumpectomy and radiation which was followed by 6 years of Arimidex therapy. Thanks to the support of family, friends, great medical personnel, and a lot of prayer, it all went very well. I was blessed that it was caught at a very early stage. My only risk factor was having one cousin who had it. It's vital that we all be proactive and use all three weapons against this disease---self exams, yearly doctor's checks, and annual mammograms.

susan holowaty
ligonier, PA

A Story of Faith, Strength, and Hope

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on May 5, 2008. More specifically, stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I first suspected there was a problem a few weeks earlier when I started to notice that my breast had changed shape. I didn't feel a lump initially but my left breast had drawn up into a ball with a concave at the bottom. Something wasn't right. I made an appointment with my gynecologist. After the exam he asked "Is there a surgeon that you know and like?". I knew then it was cancer. The thing I had dreaded. But instead of freaking out, I felt this peace come over me. The Lord was letting me know that everything was going to be alright.

I went to see my surgeon who did a biopsy. A few days later I got the call we all dread-"The doctor needs you to come in for the results of your biopsy". "Cant you tell me over the phone?" Silence, unbearable silence. "I'm sorry, I can't". "Should I bring someone with me?" "Yes".

The tumor was 9 cm's long and at my chest wall. I went through chemo, radical mastectomy, more chemo, and radiation. It was hard. Some many days, I just didn't think I had the strength to fight this battle. Had alot of pajama days. But, the Lord gave me the peace, my incredible family gave me the strength, and I am writing this to give you hope-you can and will survive. It's a cliche' but cancer is a word, not a sentence. Don't give up!!! I'm here for my 9 year old, it doesn't get better than that. The chemo IS a pain but it works. My 9 cm tumor was 2.5 cm's when they removed it. Keep the faith, baby!

Jorjanne Hamilton
Pelahatchie, MS

18 YEARS SURVIVOR (AND COUNTING)

I was only 38 when I found a lump myself in a self examine. I had a mammogram 1 year earlier and wasn't due for another one for 4 more years. Not being very good at making myself do monthly self examine, something told me to do it that day. I felt a lump but tried telling myself it was nothing. Tried again the next day, it was still there so went to the doctor. Tests found it was breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy and then extreme chemo and radiation. Thankfully I went to the doctor and didn't wait the 4 years until my next mammogram or I probably wouldn't be here! I'm a firm believer in self examines and try to pass the word around. 18 years cancer free and still counting!!!!

Cathy Larson
Tyler, TX

Breast cancer scare

Last January I had a breast cancer scare. I had a breast MRI and a Sterotatic breast biopsy.Thank God it was benign. I urged everyone to get Mammograms .It saved my life I have to keep on top of it,but that is only a small price to pay. Better safe than sorry

Anonymous
Manahawkin, NJ

Lucky

I was very lucky to have found my breast cancer before it was Stage 1. I had surgery and radiation and came through both well. I was 43 years old when the cancer was found and I am now 49. I credit my radiologist for finding the cancer, which could barely be seen even with the use of a magnifying glass.

Sheila M. Mattingly
Fairfax, VA

My ordeal as a single mom!

In 2002 I had felt this uncomfortable tenderness under my armpit which gradually became painful and developed into a lump. I first thought it was just that time of the month ( I had had a hysterectomy at 35 due to cervical cancer) so thought it was my body reacting to what should have been. I ended up going to my GP for a check-up only to have scans and mamograms done confirming the cancer. My GP was very blunt and told me it had to come off!!! I was devastated!. I had been staying with my sister and I was told that I must not expect everyone's life to come to a standstill because I had cancer!! I went to a specialist surgeon who gave me the various options available only to discover after the mastecomy and the regular biopsies that the cancer was very vigorous (8) and that 2 of the lymph nodes were affected. So a week later back to theatre to have the lymph nodes removed. This was followed by 9 months of chemotherapy (my white cell count took longer to recuperate than normal) and 6 weeks of radiation. Being a single mother with two very sporty boys I just had to carry on. With the love and support from my eldest sister and her family and all my work colleagues, I was motivated and encouraged right through my ordeal. Having a positive attitude and also placing your trust in God that he will get you through no matter what, just gave me strength from day to day. So to other cancer patients, dont give up!!! Be positive!!!! God has a plan with each of our lives!!!

Bernadine
Johannesburg, South Africa
Flurry of Savings
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