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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

Sandie's Story

I had my first mammogram 34 years ago, the night before I had a hysterectomy. I didn't really understand what they were all about until I did some investigation. Fortunately, since then I have always had the instinct to get mammograms and do self-exams as prescribed by my physicians. In 1987 I had a benign cyst the size of a pea removed that I could not feel. In 2005 a core needle biopsy proved again to be benign. This year at age 70 a cyst was discovered which required an ultra sound to show it was not serious. None would have been spotted or investigated further without a mammogram. Would I have developed breast cancer if I did not get my mammograms? Good question; I don't know, but I am not anxious to find out. It's impossible for local women to forget self exams; we have a buddy system 8 here where the woman anchor on our evening news reminds women the 8th of each month it's buddy check day.

God bless

Sandie Smith
Las Vegas,, NV

my story of " TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER"

my name is susan and i'm 52. i found a lump in my left breast in april of 2007. i had surgery to remove cyst on august 13, upon awakening i was told that a tumor 1.1cm was removed and that i needed another surgery to get clear margins and lymph nodes, this was done on august 20,the tumor was a grade 3 infiltrating ductal carcinoma and was postive in 2 out of 9 lymph nodes, it was estrogen and progesterone negative and HER-2 neu negative, meaning Triple Negative breast cancer. the worst kind. i must have chemo and radiation. i was to have 8 chemo treatments and 35 weeks of radiation. i had 4 treatments of cytoxan and adriamysin and 1 treatment of taxol before damage was done to my lungs and heart. i developed pneumonia and was hospitalized for 8 days. the taxol caused me to develop fibrosis of the lungs. i was on 5 liters of oxygen 24 hours a day and 3 inhalers a day.when i finally got over the pneumonia, i started going to park and walking and eating right and taking vitamins. today i'm 17 months cancer free and not on oxygen any more and only have to use my inhaler on a as needed basis. thanks to some good drs. and the good LORD, i'm doing alot bettter. my hair and nails have grown back and i now have a tatto on my left chest, that i wear proudly. i had reconstruction on december 29,2007 and everything is going as well with that. i have mri's now instead of mammograms because i am considered high risk for breast cancer because of the kind i had. i do regular self exams and still have to see my oncologist. THANK-YOU and this is my story.

susan
piedmont, AL

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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