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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

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

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.


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

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.

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.

Baltimore, MD

Mammograms save lives!

Four years ago I went to have my routine mammogram and the radiologist noticed a shadow on the films. He compared them to the mammogram I had the year before (at the same facility) and sent me for an ultrasound. The ultrasound along with a biopsy confirmed the fact that there was cancer there. Since that day I have had a lumpectomy with a sentinel node biopsy, radiation and a hysterectomy to improve my chances of remaining cancer free. I am a survivor all because I made it a point to have an annual mammogram. I believe strongly that mammograms save lives!

Tommi Jones
Lincoln, NE

Breast Cancer and Personal Growth

While I would never recommend that someone get breast cancer, I found that it was growth and learning experience for me. I am fiercely independent rarely asking or accepting help. But breast cancer changed that. People really wanted to help. I found that it was okay to say yes. It opened my eyes to possibilities I didn't dare think before.

A brief story about this exprience: I remember walking the survivor lap around the reflecting pool at Celebration on the Hill. There were all these people around the pool cheering us on, high fiving and congratulating us. I wish anyone reading this has an experience (the walking, not the cancer) such as this once in their lifetime. The absolute sense of community and love was almost overwhelming.

I would be remiss if I didn't recognize a very good friend who came with me to my chemotherapy appointments. We laughed and talked and the time passed.

Another part of the story is another kind of message about caring. We survivors are a luck bunch. I think we have an obligation to advocate for anyone suffering or in need, particularly it it looks like their are doing so in silence. Not only are there other cancers, but there are a lot of serious illness and neediness that we should be aware of as well. Fund raising or awareness campagins should not be in competition for scarce dollars, diabetes or poverty are equally worthy causes.

So, let us stand up for humanity.

Roberta Bernstein
Concord, MA

Breast Cancer Survivor

In November of 2006, I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Fortunately, I was blessed to have this discovered at an early stage as a result of my yearly mammogram. Even after knowing exactly where it was, I was unable to feel it during a self-exam due to its small size and location.

My treatments began with having a partial mascectomy also known as a lumpectomy. This was followed by 33 radiation treatments. I then began a five-year daily treatment with Femara, which is a medication classified as an aromatose inhibitor to minimize the estrogen that is naturally produced in my body as my cancer was estrogen positive. Although each treatment has had its own side effects, each one has been well worth going through to increase my odds of survival. Test results every three months show no signs of the cancer.

Yes, I am a survivor! I thank God each day for helping me through this fight. The fight is a hard one but it can be won. Please get your mammograms and do your self-exams! The earlier cancer can be detected the better your chances of winning the fight.

Nancy Capp
Visalia, CA
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