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Going FullThrottle

My name is Charlotte, I am 50 years young. I have been married to my loving husband and best friend Joe for 33 years. We have a daughter, Melissa. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in April 2008. I was devastated. Life was so good and I loved everything about my life. My daughter, was getting married in May and we absolutely adored our future son in law. This is something I had dreamt about and hoped for all my life. After I got over the initial shock I decided fight this thing with all my might. I was not going to let this control my life but I was going to remain in control. My tumor was quite large and I had some lymph nodes test positive also but with my wonderful team of doctors and my family by my side we chose what we felt would be the best treatment plan for me. I made the decision along with the standard treatment that I would take part in a Clinical Trial so that I may possibly help someone in the future facing this journey. My treatment plan called for chemo first to try and shrink the tumor followed by surgery and then radiation. After around 3 treatments I noticed that my tumor had began to shrink. I had my surgery on November 4th. When my surgeon went in she was amazed to no longer find any traces of the cancer in my lymph nodes and my tumor was no longer a tumor but a few scattered cells and almost too small to measure!! She had the biggest smile when she asked me if I knew what this meant. She said "this is big, really big" and that I had literally made medical history. Wow, image that me?

Charlotte Gomes
Salinas, CA

3 year survivor

In January 2006, I went for my annual mammo as I had done so for several years. Three days later, I received a phone call to come back for additional testing. This was the first time that this had happened so needless to say I was quite concerned. These tests included a spot compression mammo, ultrasound, biopsy and then the diagnosis of breast cancer in at least two places.. An MRI was scheduled which lead to more biopsies and further cancer was revealed. My diagnosis turned out to be Stage 3, Grade 1 ILC with node involvement. Treatment included a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, chemo, radiation, oophorectomy and follow up treatment with an Aromatase Inhibitor. This cancer was not found on self-exam, but on the mammogram. Without this annual mammorgram, my breast cancer would not have been detected at this point in time. It is scary to think if I was not getting annual mammograms, how much more the cancer would have progressed. I feel that it is of the utmost importance for women to have annual mammograms. It is what most probably saved my life. I am very happy to say that I am "dancing with NED" (no evidence of disease) since I finished treatment.

Anonymous
Denver, CO

no drugs for me!

I had a cancerous tumor removed from my right breast in December 2004. Three sentinel lymph nodes were removed & biopsied. One showed cancer cells. I was advised to undergo radiation and chemotherapy and have my axillary lymph nodes removed & biopsied. I chose instead to go completely drug free & toxin free, exercise and drink plenty of pure water. In the fall of 2008 I had my 4th clear mammogram & I feel fine.

Ruth
independence, MO

WIFES FAMILY BATTLES CANCER

My wife's family is a family that has lots of cancer and her mother lost a breast to cancer. We have several friends that also have cancer problems in their families and we are all in need of support when it comes to cancer concerns.

Thank you for your support our families do apprecitate it

Anonymous
Mesa, AZ

May 2009 marks anniversary of 8 year survivor

May will mark the 8th year of being a breast cancer survivor...I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2001..I had a masectomy on the right side, chem, radiation and i am still on tamoxifen..At first when i had the initial diagnosis, i cried and i just could not believe it, i was only 43 years old and being diagnosed with breast cancer, it was like a bad nightmare..After a the news 2 weeks later i had the masectomy..You finally realize, i wil be ok..You have to be positive, talk to others about it and it will help a lot...Well, after all of the treatments were over, i was able to help others diagnosed with any type of cancer, i would always tell them to try to stay positive and try no to be negative at all...I know at first that is very hard to do, but with prayer, family and friends it is really an easy task..I would just like to say the same to all of you stay positive..Prayers, family and friends will get you thru this traumatic illness.You will be a survivor too..

Mary Cuti

Mary
Amite, LA

Blessed in Raleigh, NC

On Thanksgiving morning 2007, as I was applying lotion following a shower and prior to a house full of guests arriving, I found a lump in my right breast. Being a holiday weekend meant waiting until Monday to see my doctor. It was a whirlwind that next week seeing my primary physician, the surgeon, the oncologists, having additional tests, etc. Within two weeks I had opted to undergo bilateral mastectomies. I had cancer involvement in the sentinel node only, and opted for aggressive treatment and am most grateful for the compassionate care I received at Rex Cancer Center in Raleigh.

I work for the United Methodist Conference and am convinced that the prayers of 700 congregations, family and friends made this journey with cancer so much easier than it might have been. Following surgery, I had six sessions of chemo and a year of Herceptin treatment, finishing the end of January 2009. Would I have chosen this journey - of course not, but it does not mean a death sentence, nor does it have to take our quality of life or our womanhood. Did I lose my hair - yes - and it grew back gray! Did I have a few days during treatment when I was not feeling terrific - yes, but not many!

I encourage everyone to click on the breast cancer site daily to help those who are under-insuranced or not insured receive regular mammograms. I was not well informed and did not have mammograms because there was no family history of breast cancer - not knowing that my age (60) and weight were creating significant risks for breast cancer. I encourage all women to continue regular personal manual checks, have your doctor check you yearly and get your mammongrams! And click, click, click on the website!

Linda Bourey
Raleigh, NC

The Day My Life Changed

Jan of 2007, I went for my yearly Mamo I was told that I had Breast Cancer. I went to my Gen Surgeon, the next step was for a breast tissue biopsy.

Everything was explained, the next step would be a sentinel lymph node biopsy.The removal of 3 node's one had a very small speck of cancer. And my Oncologist felt the tiny speck wasn't concern enough to have Chemo it would only improve my chances by 3 or 4 percent which we both felt wasn't enough to endure the side effects of chemo.

After my healing time about 3 weeks or so I started my radiation setup, and daily treatments 5 day's a week.A total of 33 treatments.

All went well and at times I didn't even feel like I was having any side affects by the last two weeks things changed quickly. I was so burned and raw and then the fatigue set in the side affects took awhile for me to heal and return to my normal self which for me took longer than I thought it would be.

But, 2 years later at 58 I am doing wonderful and due my continued 6 month check up in April and for my now yearly mamo.

I take a daily Arimidex to help keep my hormones controlled since my cancer was a hormone positive cancer.

I do see life much differently now! I am a Breast Cancer Survior! And I am stronger now than I was before. A yearly Mamo is how my breast cancer was caught, earlier enough to save my life so I can have more precious time with my loved ones,family and friends and even my doggies.

SJSA

Anonymous
kansas city, MO

How will I tell My Babygirl

When you go in for your yearly womanly check up you never think that they will find breast cancer. They did all I could think of how am I going to tell my 10 yr old babygirl. I am a single Mom and She and I have been through so much. Even though I have a Family history of it Mom, Aunts, Grandma, 2 out of 3 sisters. My oldest sister and I went to My Mom's to tell my daughter she took it pretty well or so I thought when we were alone she cried and said I don't want you to die. I told her that God knows how much we need each other and he will not let that happen. So we talked and I made my decision I would take them both off and reconstruct just get rid of it they are not important what is important is being her for my daughter. I personally was very lucky I had a wonderful Mom and Daughter to be with me after all my surgery's and wonderful family and friends. My lil girl washed me, helped me get dressed, measured and drained my tubes she was a God send. She is truely my Angel Baby.I have had four surgery's the last yr. But I have had wonderful doctors. Because of the way I did this whole process and because I did the Oncotype test I did not have to have chemo or radiation. This test show from your cancer what your changes are of it coming back I am at 9% so my Doctor said even with giving me chemo or Radiation it would bring me to a 7% or take Tamoxifen for five yrs and monitor you. Have a Super Fantastic Day ! Thanks Family and Friends

Sheila
Littlerock, CA

Almost One Year

It all started on a November afternoon when I received that call saying the words that no one wants to hear, "you have cancer". At that point my life changed forever. I went through 3 surgeries, and finally had to have a masectomy on my left breast. I am one of the lucky ones. My cancer level was very low so I did not have to go through chemo or radiation. I am on Tamoxifin for 5 years and will be cancer-free for one year on April 3. I have learned so much through this ordeal. Do not give up. Do not give in to this disease. Be strong. Fight and live your life to the fullest. I now look at life from a very different angle. God gave you life and he can take it away. Luckily He wants me on this earth for a purpose. I am enjoying life to its fullest with my husband of 23 years, my daughter, son-in-law and son.

Robin
Reisterstown, MD

Never would have thought I would be the one!!!!

Hello I am 35 years old three year survivor of breast cancer. I never would have thought of having a mammogram at my age so lucky me, my Dr. found a lump on one side but the cancer was on the other side. I had a choice to have a lumpectomy but why take the chance so I just had a mastectomy to lesson my chances of the cancer coming back. I have taken this as a blessing from god and have been supporting others like me who don't have the support that is needed for this life long process. My prayers are with all of my sister's and brother's of cancer may the lord bless you!

I would like to say thank you to the wonderful Dr Wanda Simmons-Clemons for saving my life and pushing me to know that I could deal with this and to live on also to Dr. Schultz and Dr Sued of St Joseph for all of there support.

I am available for anyone who has any questions or just in the need of a friend to deal with the day to day feeling.

Anonymous
Baltimore, MD
Pink Ribbons and Hearts Packable Shopping
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