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The day my Nightmare arrived!

In June 2007 I celebrated my 40th birthday! I can remember saying to my husband Tony, "I am going to remember my 40th year" I was not wrong!Only 4 weeks after celebrating a great party with family & friends, my nightmare day began - I had found a lump in my left breast!!

I rang the doctors surgery explained I had found a lump & got an appointment. I sat talking to my doctor who knew my family history of breast cancer - having lost my sister at the age of 34 & my mum at 65. He proceeded to say that I was being paranoid. When I asked if he could feel the lump he said yes, but its probably your hormones!! Come back and see me in a months time...

With such a strong family history I was not prepared to wait, to see if this lump went away! I contacted the breast clinic at Southend Hospital. Explained to them what I had just been told, they asked me to call the doctors again in 30 minutes. When I called back the doctor was not prepared to talk to me, but a letter would be forwarded to the clinic.

To cut a long story short after the visit to the breast clinic, mammogram & biopsy all in one day, I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. I had my operation to remove the tumour in August 2007, started 8 months of chemotherapy in September, followed by 5 weeks of radiotherapy. A long road, but still hear to tell the story!

The moral being, you know your own body, if you think something is wrong dont leave it. If I had taken my doctors advise, I dont think I would be here now typing my story!

Paula Dowdall
RAYLEIGH, United Kingdom

"Thriving Through Breast Cancer"

One of the most feared things a woman can hear are the words "you have breast cancer". I remember last July, lying in bed and finding a lump on my left breast. Immediately, I jumped up to the mirror. I anxiously awaited the next morning, couldn't wait until 8 am to call my doctor to get an appointment. I received my appointment and on my way there I am thinking it is probably nothing, don't worry. After the exams, my doctor recommended that I have a biopsy to determine what was going on. I had a biopsy and was awaiting the results. Feeling pretty sure it was probably benign only to hear the words, "Mrs. McCaskill, it is malignant!" My entire body went numb and I couldn't believe my ears. Out of all days I told my husband he didn't have to come with me to get my results, well it was one of those days I needed him there. Nevertheless I called him and said, "Hey (trying not to sound upset at all), it's malignant. Waiting his response, I heard him say, that's alright, and we are going to be alright! WOW! I remember driving down 85 South still trying to grasp this diagnosis and I heard the words of the Lord say: "You shall live and not die". That was it! That was all of the confirmation that I needed. After that day, of course I had more biopsies to come, MRI, CAT Scans; you name it in the days ahead.

I had a mastectomy and reconstruction and everything is all Good! I have begun a foundation called "Earth Angel" where our motto is "A Cure On Earth"

Angel M. McCaskill
Gastonia, NC

I'm still here

In 1999, I had a modified radical mastectomy of my right breast. Ten years later, I am cancer free. Mammograms are so important ... my cancer was found because of one. That's why I click every day ... many times more than once!

Nancy
West Palm Beach, FL

Bad News

On June 16,2008 we were told my wife had lung cancer.We have been married for 48 years and been thru lots of rough times.We survived 3

tours in Vietnam.Marlene helped me on that.Now I am doing the same

for her.We will survive this part of life also.All things in life are pracious

and worth fighting for.Thanks to everyone that has helped and still

helping.

Bobby G. Jones
Palm Bay, FL

Celebrate Life

In April 2007 I had a double mascetomy due to breast cancer. I thought I would never survive the surgery, chemo, etc. But, here I am today a survivor of 2 years. I celebrate each day and appreciate every day. My goal in life now is to help other women who are facing this terrible disease. I try to tell women ,that I am referred to, all the little things that will change in their lives and ways to make the transition easier. I am thankful that the Lord has led me through this disease and has carried me all the way through some tough decisions.

My mother, also, had breast cancer and past away at 57 years of age. I encourage all women with the disease to have genetic testing done for their daughters, sisters and other family members.

Cancer truly changes your life and sometimes for the better.

I am a SURVIVOR.

Beverly Rogers
Church Hill, TN

So Much For Stage Four Cancer, 15 % and Five years !!

1957 - Mother diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38. Wife eleven years old.

1959 - Cancer spreads to mother's brain and dies.

1984- January - Wife 38. Breast self exam suggests cancer. Contacts doctor to set up exam.

February - Doctor doesn't think so. Wife does.

March - Mamogram does not reveal cancer.

May - Wife schedules biopsy procedure for early June.

June - Doctor comes out of procedure and announces cancer is into the lymph system and wants to know WHAT TO DO ! Told him I have no idea since I'm not a doctor but he better do what he has to do since my wife dislikes hospitals and may not come back. Very angry! Result - double radical mastectomy. Wife a basket case but determined to see children ( same ages as she and her siblings in 1957 ) through high school. Best mom ever. Cancer estrogen positive, elects to have hysterectomy to increase survival. Cancer protocal: chemo, radiation, chemo.

Loses hair during chemo. Being sent to County Hospital for radiation with medical records. Stop on way to read. Wife head of her nursing class reads she has stage four cancer and given a 15% chance to survive five years. Crushed!

Gets radiation sickness, spiking temps all weekend. Calls clinic, told she has flu !! Calls County, go in, treated,symptoms disappear. Finish protocal.

Takes kids on cross country train trip so they might remember her. First Christmas finds 75 gifts under the tree for our three kids. She wants them to know they are loved.

2009 - So much for 15%, five years and stage four cancer : - )) God blessed us. Children grown and have two grandchildren! Trying to get wife to retire from nursing. Best wife, mother, nurse you'll ever know.

Anonymous
Brown Deer, WI

The 2nd Time Around

I was diagnosed with breast cancer the first time in 1986 at the age of 33. A modified radical mastectomy with removal of lymph nodes was performed. After testing, the lymph nodes showed to be clear. Back then, when the nodes were clear, the treatment was over. I lived a very happy and cancer free life until Jan., 2006. Just like the first time, I found the lump myself and went straight to the doctor. The initial biopsy showed cancer again. My husband and I were both in shock. One minute we laughed and said, "haven't we been through this before", and the next we were crying. After a lumpectomy and removal of the three sentinel nodes, the news wasn't quite as good this time. The cancer had spread. The oncologist said that the cancer was fast growing, so the fast tract was taken to get the chemo started. As you know, that was no piece of cake, but with God's help, along with family and friends, it saved my life. After 4 months of chemo, I started that long climb back up the hill, my hair started to grow back and before I knew it I was feeling great. My next hurdle was to have a second mastectomy. Currently, I am in the middle of the reconstruction procedure and looking forward to living another 30 or so years. Live everyday to it's fullest, never take life for granted, and above all else, never give up.

patra
arab, AL

Continuing To Survive!

I am an eighteen and a half years breast cancer survivor! I have lived long enough to see eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren born and I am very greatful to God for this extra time on earth. I hope I can have a few more years, but if not, thanks so much for the memories, kids!

Joan Zimmer
Pacifica, CA

Supporting the Cause through Art

About four years ago, my friend, Barb, and I started making jewelry. It quickly became a passionate hobby and I suggested that we start selling our jewelry. Because we both have friends and family that have dealt with breast cancer (some survivors, some not so lucky), we decided to donate 10% of every sale to breast cancer research. Barb is an architect and I am an engineer, so we named our company, Details. We have continued to grow in our abilities to come up with unique designs and now also include hand-knotted pearls and unique wire names and wire wrapped pendants. We have also had shows where 20% of the proceeds go to a specific person (coworker, friend, neighbor, etc.) to help with their medical expenses while they fight this disease.

We hope to make a difference. Hopefully, there will be a cure for this in my lifetime.

Lisa Coyan
Lenexa, KS

Never met my grandmother...

...well, my mother's mother (I knew my father's mother for decades!); she died of breast cancer in her 30's, when my mom was only 8. I wished I could've met her, but that was before the days of mammography. My mother's always been good about getting checked up herself because of that, and she's still going strong in her mid-80's! Hope I do as well when I'm that age!

Nancy
Pasadena, CA
Butterflies of Bali Short Sleeve Tunic
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