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in her words

A monster has entered my life.

I don't know what it looks like,

or how big, but it has come into my life in the blink of an eye.

It has left a path of destruction for myself and my family.

It is called cancer.

I am a 56 year old woman,

I am happily married for 30 plus years.

I have three grown children, a nine year old grandson and a new grandson on the way.

I live the typical life, so why me?

How did someone like me get breast cancer?

I often ask myself was it something I ate or drank?

What did I do wrong to get cancer?

I never thought I would be one of those people that other people would look at and feel pity for them because they have an illness, or they are a victim of cancer.

But as you read this, just know I don't want or need your pity.

Just because I have cancer doesn't make me a victim, it makes me a survivor.

I am going to to fight this thing until my last breath.

I will be strong in front of my family,

but please forgive me if I should break down once in awhile for I am only human.

And after my surgery, I will look in the mirror and face my fear of life without a breast, but be grateful,

because after all it is just a breast and not my life.

And when I start to lose my hair from chemo,

I will not be ashamed of my baldness,

I will show people it is the price I have to pay for my survival.

So please when you see me don't be afraid,

for I am just a woman.

Don't hold back your own feelings,

I can still give comfort.

Don't pity me for I will fight this and win.

Still be my friend for I will need arms to run to when I get scared.

And please don't give up hope for I will be here when they find a cure

RIP Denise Toth

elizabeth
NORTH TONAWANDA, NY

Estrogen related Breast cancer

Sept 14,2013 Changed my life as I went into see my doctor as I had back pain in both shoulder blades and I never had back pain before. after an exam I was told a possible pulled muscle because of my work, I cleaned for 48 apartments, which means move stoves, oven, climb on ladders. I would snow blow in the winter so of course a pulled muscle is what it had to be.

The pain would not go away and then the pain started in my ribs I knew this was not a pulled muscle and demanded to be seen by my doctor and get some test done, after 3 cat scans, 1 EKG, 1 Chest X-Ray, then to a Liver Biopsy I received the news I had Breast Cancer in an E-mail (yes an Email) I was scheduled an office visit with an oncologist 5 days later.

The First meeting with my oncologist He informs me I have stage 4 Breast cancer, I say that's impossible I had just 5 months ago had my mammogram with a follow up ultra sound and was given the all clear, as a matter of fact I have the letter they sent me congratulating me that all was good and did not have to have a follow up for another year. He then tells me my Breast cancer is estrogen related ( due to the hormone pills I was on for 13 years after a hysterectomy at age 28) This type of cancer is Breast cancer that is not in the breast, it spread into my liver and my bones. I then find out there is no amount of chemo or radiation that will stop this, this is a non curable, spreadable cancer but it is a slow cancer. It's been 6 and half months and I am still in shock, I have daily struggles, but I also have a lot of Faith, I came to realize my life is not up to the doctors, its in "God's Time !!!

Sandi
Upper Wisconsin, WI

34yr old Breast Cancer figher

I'm Lacie, and I am 34 years old fighting this battle. I wanted to share my blog. I started to blog this journey and maybe someone else could read it and know there are others other going through the same thing.

http://laciescancerjourney.wordpress.com/

Lacie Harris
Lynn, MA

Crystal

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 years ago almost 6.Since then it's been a emotional roller coaster ride.I did treatments chemo & radiation plus looked after my 3 beautiful daughters who watched me loose my hair n get sick n burned.A year later it came back to the other breast & I chose not to do treatments because I would have to have a different kind of poison.Instead I got a double masectomy n reconstruction done.In the mean time of healing from that I found out that i have the BRCA1 & 2 gene so I proceeded to have a complete historectomy I already have my beautiful ladies I was done having kids.i worked at my job through everything it helped give me the strength to go on.I am so blessed for being a "survivor" and I can help others go through what I've done already!!My next worry is my girls but I know they'll be ok cuz I've showed them how to be strong and there are precautions I will have to take with them.I could not have done this without any of my supporters and I just wanna say thank you & I love you all 😘

Crystal
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Early Detection Saved Me

I had an infection in my right breast that wouldn't go away. Finally after two months my doctor sent me to get a mammogram.

The technician was very chatty when doing the mammogram on my right breast but got very quiet when it came to the left. I just knew then.

A biopsy confirmed my worst fear, I had breast cancer.

I opted for a lumpectomy and radiation. If it hadn't been for the breast infection (that mysteriously went away immediately after my mammogram), I wouldn't have gone in.

I had been very lazy about getting regular mammograms prior to this and it might have been too late.

I am currently 8 days away from having my radiation completed.

I am looking forward to paying it forward. I have had the unwavering support of my amazing husband and wonderful friends. Some old and the new ones I've met on this incredible journey. It's been difficult but I wouldn't trade this experience because I am alive.

Dawn
Redding, CA

Fighter

My name is Tonya, I was just recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, So I am still new to everything that is going on. I have two daughters, Shelby and Adrian, My wonderful family which is my mother Wanda, My two wonderful sisters Dana and Lana, I have many friends and other family members who are supporting me. At first I was scared and afraid till my Oncologist talked to me and helped me understand what breast cancer was and my treatment plan. The research and treatment has come so far over the years. I just want to say to all who are fighting, won their battle or helped a loved one keep your head up and stay strong.

Tonya
Arab, AL

Five Years Cancer Free!

I was diagnosed in December 2008 with DCIS. Further testing of the tissue outside the margins of the biopsied tumor revealed Invasive Breast Cancer. By February I learned that I would have to have a bilateral mastectomy (with simultaneous elective breast reconstruction) as well as an oophorectomy. The oophorectomy revealed pre-cancerous tissue on the ovaries (I had already had a partial hysterectomy several years before). Follow up treatment included Aromasin, an aromatase inhibitor.

I never ever missed a mammogram and with my strong family history, I had one every year since a benign tumor was removed from my right breast at age 19. I never missed my gynecology appointments either. In fact, the MRI that was used for my initial diagnoses was schedule by my doctor ahead of my scheduled mammogram! Imagine that! Even with diligent care and attention, I still had to undergo radical treatment. I continue to take a daily dose of Aromasin, which took almost two years before I was able to return fully to daily function without being slowed down by the debilitating side effects of the drug.

Today, April 1, 2014, I am five years cancer free! This isn't my whole story - some of my story might be considered a nightmare, but that doesn't have to be the end. Today I am alive and grateful for the series of events that brought me to this time in my life. My message to anyone who asks is this - GET REGULAR CHECK UPS! Ask your doctor questions. Get your annual exams. Perform self exams. Stay ahead of your heath! And - SPREAD THE WORD!!!

Lisa
Ridley Park, PA

Not alone..

I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in February 2014 surgery was done in march 2014 awaiting g results of the pathologist report for treatment. At 43 yrs old iam battling a fight that I know I will be a survivor of. This site allows me to know iam not alone and this walk I walk I can be strong and continue to fight for others. Iam grateful and glad to be able to share this story... I wear pink for Nichele is my slogan and iam happy to keep striving forward

nichele smallwood
bear, DE

I HEAR YOU KNOCKING BUT YOU CAN'T COME IN!

I HEAR YOU KNOCKING BUT YOU CAN’T COME IN!

SCENARIOS:

I’m a young woman, only 27, with my first baby on the way! I’m full of excitement waiting for his or her birth—planning the nursery and awaiting the baby shower.

I have 4 children (1 set of twins), all of whom are in high school! My life is so busy with kids’ music lessons and after-school activities.

I’m reaching the pinnacle of my career! I’m getting ready to break through that glass ceiling, and my personal life is wrapped up in my job. There is no time for even the personal me!

I’m getting ready to start retirement! My husband and I are making plans for a cruise and then a trip to Ireland later in the year.

I’m in my golden years! I’m ready to read those unread books, work in the gardens, enjoy my grands and do a little weekend traveling here and there.

BUT YOU CANNOT IGNORE ME! I WAS KNOCKING AND NOW I AM IN!!

Gals of all ages, put on those pink gloves and fight! We have so much to live for, no matter our ages; and if we have opened the doors for God’s plan for our lives, we will have much to share through our experiences and our strengths for those women coming behind us.

As we like to say at The Sparkle Caps Project, we are HOT CHICKS! Our femininity is not tied to our hair loss; and I might add, it is not tied to our boobs, especially if they are out to get us! The cancer journey is not easy by a long shot, but it is full of miracles and blessings if we will just open our eyes to the beauty of each day—the PRESENT that God has given us is today!

February 4th marked my 4th year as a breast cancer survivor, and God has so richly blessed me through my cancer and beyond. He is there for you, too. God bless you!

Susan "Victorious" Heimbigner
Sumter, SC

37 years survivor

i had my son in july so when i reached across the table i pressed my breast on the table and i got a pain i thought it was because i was a new mom and it was milk but then i decided to give myself a breast exam thats when i found the lump my dr removed it in the er just before thanksgiving they had to send it to boston to get the results the cancer was not in the lump but in the tissue around it they gave me the holidays with my family i had a radical masectamy in jan and 37 years later i am still doing fine

mercedes omalley
portland, ME
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