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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!!!

Johannesburg, South Africa

A true "Angel" on Earth...My Mom!

My mom is a two time Breast Cancer Survivor, I have told her from the first day she was told she had breast cancer from that day forward she is a SURVIVOR! She had a double masectomy, has endured Chemotherapy, and is now is the phase of Reconstructive Surgery. Through all of her trials, she has remained strong she is a true Angel to me, she is MY strength, she has made me and my girls the women we are today, I am grateful and thankful to have such a wonderful woman as my Mom! Bringing recognition to this horrible disease and to bring HOPE to just one who is fighting the same battle, I know that HOPE is a very important part to recovery. What an amazing testament my mom is to "HOPE". She walks this road with courange and strength to carry all of us, not once worrying about herself. For that I am humbled. To my mom....You are my True Angel on Earth....I love you!

Sharon Fleming
Port St Lucie, FL

In Memory of : Maria Delgado -- Te Amo Con Todo Mi Corazon

I was in 7th grade when my grandma was 1st diagnosed with breast cancer, but it wasn't until my eigth grade year that it hit stage four. I could never forget those days in the hospital praying to God that she'd be okay. I hate the pain I saw in my mom's eyes; I can't even imagine the pain she goes through every day.

I strongly encourage for every single female to go get mammograms constantly because my grandma's breast cancer was detected to late, and leaded to a brian tumor, which is very common with any cancer. Every year we walk in a "Walk For Breast Cancer" in South Padre Island. I encourage all of you to join the walk and raise awareness.

I wish my kind-heated grandmother was here today, but I know she's watching over us. I hope she knows how much we love her and how much we miss her. And like she'd always says: GO TARPONS!!!!!! (Port Isabel Tarpons from Texas in The Rio Grande Valley)

biancha esquivel
los fresnos, TX

There is no "too young" for breast cancer

I'm 28 years old and I lost my Mom to Breast Cancer over 12 years ago. She was diagnosed at the age of 36 after having been told that she is "too young" to have Breast Cancer and the lump in her breast was "too small" to be Breast Cancer. Fortunately for her, she found a wonderful surgeon who agreed to do a biopsy and ultimately was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

She underwent a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. She was declared to be in remission, but that was short lived. A year later, she was told that the cancer had spread. She tried more chemo and when she exhausted the options at our local hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY, she went to UMass/Memorial Hospital in Worcester, MA and Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, MA.

Nearly four years after she was diagnosed, she died on December 23, 1996 at the age of 39.

Each day, she is at the forefront of my thoughts and I can only hope that I am living life with a fraction of the grace that she carried throughout her entire life, for I know that I will never be able to live up to the same spirit that she did.

In addition, I take her life as an example, especially in regard to Breast Cancer. There isn't any such thing as being too young for Breast Cancer. As a result, from the age of 25 on, I have been getting yearly mammograms and have had the BRCA test done. It is unfortunate that this is a worry in my life at the age of 28, but I'd rather catch it early and beat it... and we all know it can happen to women of any age.

Kathy O'Brien
West Boylston, MA

My Difficult Winter

I was scheduled to go to UAB Medical Center to be evaluated as a kidney transplant recipient on 12/2/08. My beloved daughter was going to be tested as a live donor. On Friday 11/28/08 I received the phone call confirming that I definitely did have cancer. To back up a little, I have polycystic kidney disease and it was at my June 08 checkup that my kidney function had dropped and as it was monitored, continued to drop to the point tht I was told "we have to talk about transplant and dialysis options. In August 08 I had surgery on my arm to create an AV fistula in the event that dialysis is needed. A cut on the wrist, but the vein and artery were too small, so the fistula was created just above the bend of my arm. After my rountine mamogram and GYN visit, I received a letter by the end of that week stating that I needed to do a special view mammogram and ultrasound. I was told I had to have a biopsy (needle into the breast). I had a lumpectomy with lymph node dissection. Complete pathology reports, found cancer in the sentinel node, therefore, in addition to 5 weeks of radiation, chemo. Day of 1st oncologist vist, I received call from the nursing home in the evening that my Mother, who had Alzheimer's, had passed away. It was my birthday. I had another surgery for my chemo port. I see my oncologist April 2 and am anxious to start radiation! I have a wonderful husband who has been there every step of the way, two grown children and three faublous grandchildren to keep me motivated. I beat cancer in 1999 and I'm going to do it this time too! Let's get on with life!

Sue Webb
Oxford, MS

my cancer

i have been cancer free for 6 years;lost my left breast; its very inportant to get a mag each year; i am happy i am alive i am almost 68 years old and excited to see my g children grown up; thanks so much

sandy, UT

Every Bit Helps

I lost both my mother and grandmother to breast cancer. Both were diagnosed at age 54. I believed I would have to deal with it but was surprised to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 at age 40. I went through a full mastectomy and six months chemotherapy followed by a year of herceptin. Sadly in 2007 it spread to my spine. I went through radiation and chemo again as well as a spinal fusion surgery. I am still here today - fighting each day. I cherish every moment I have with my young children and my husband. Even with this terrible disease I know I am fortunate to be dealing with it in Canada where our health care pays much of the cost of my treatments. So I encourage all of my friends and family to click on your site and to purchase items - we know we are lucky to have free mamograms here and it is terrible to think that someone might have caught the disease in early stages but did not because they could not afford a mamogram. Mamograms should be free for all women - so until then I will click as often as I can and buy items from your site.

Ellen G
Ottawa, ON, Canada

Breast Cancer

I lost my husband to NH lymphoma in November of 2007. In March of 2008, I felt like I needed to have my mammogram done due to the fact that I had not taken care of myself while taking care of him. Much to my surprise, they found 2 malignant tumors in my right breast in stage 1. Due to the type of tumors, I had to have surgery, chemo and radiation. Hopefully I have beaten this monster called cancer. I'm still having some problems with my memory and some pain due to the radiation, but I feel so much better now. This photo was taken right before I lost all of my hair due to the chemo. I am a 52 year old woman and I urge all women to get a mammogram each year. I never felt a lump or any signs. The mammogram saved my life. Wanda Hamby from Kentucky

Wanda Hamby
Marion, KY

Blessings from a cat

I was diagnosed with Stage 1B breast cancer at age 37. The lump was discovered when I felt a sharp pain when my loving cat Heysoos walked across my chest as I was resting in bed. Before I could catch my breath again, it seemed, I was into the doctor's office, had a lumpectomy, and was sititng in a chair receiving chemotherapy treatment. The blur of those days between being diagnosed, having surgery, having bone scans, having sentinal node dianostics and surgery, before finally having the "luxury" of sitting for the chemo drip, is something unlike any other experience.

I honor my friend Betsy, who was diagnosed at 37 a year before me, and my friend Marjo, who was diagnosed at age 29. If you are under 40 and have not had a mammogram, please do it. You are important to the people and animals in your world.

I have been cancer free for 6 years, and I lost my loving Heysoos to his own cancer 2 years ago, but I still bless him for finding my lump so I can rescue more cats in his memory.

Takoma Park, MD
Enchanted Forest Sleeveless Tunic
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