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almost a 20 year breast cancer survivor

January 2017 I will be twenty years breast cancer free for those newly diagnosed if I can beat this you can like I said in past submissions you take the cards you are dealt in life meaning you can't change out your life cards like you can your cards in a poker game you are playing if you are playing poker and you want to get a better hand to win the pot in the middle over all the other players you can do that but you can't change out your life cards like you can your cards in a poker game even though you would want to.

Donna Schiro
Merryville, LA

I will be a 2 time winner

In May of 1996 at the age of 38 I heard those words, "You have breast cancer". I was diagnosed with stage 0 DCIS...Total radical mastectomy and 19 lymph nodes removed. Ny surgeon said he wanted to give me the best chance for survival. My children were 12, 7 and 3 All the lymph nodes were negative for cancer. No follow-up treatment and I survived 20 years without cancer. I went to my surgeon every 6 months for years and then was told that every year would be fine. I also saw an oncologist every 6 months.

In February of 2016 I heard those words again, You have breast cancer". I was speechless. This time the recurrence came back with a vengeance. Stage 4 breast cancer with metastasis to 5 spots on my bones. I was and still am speechless. I feel that when Dr's are speaking to me they are speaking to someone else. How could this have happened a 2nd time? Oh, I forgot to mention that the cancer came back on the same side that I have no breast.

I am a fighter and will continue to be one. My cancer is hormone positive and HER2 negative. A good combination I am told for the medication I will be taking.

My Dr's at the Cancer Treatment Center in Philadelphia refer to this as a chronic illness that will have to be managed for the rest of my life. I intend to have a long life and be a winner for the 2nd time.

I have a positive attitude and know I will beat this damn thing. I have too much to live for!!!! Children to be married and grandchildren to meet and lots more years with my husband.

Marlayne Sick
Monroe, NY

First Mamo's are important !

At 41 I went for my first mammogram for a base line. I knew how important they were since I had worked in Radiology scheduling. Now I was the Administrator of a health insurance company, 2 teenagers and supporting a husband, his father, and his brother that did not work. I get a phone call asking me to go get a ultra sound, same day was asked to go over and get a biopsy. Then I get a phone call at my desk at work and was told over the phone that I had cancer and needed to come in and schedule a surgery. Quite a shock! After a mastectomy and Chemotherapy my husband left me. 10 reconstruction surgeries later. It's been 14 year and life could not be better!!

Susan Alms
Ottawa, IL

Having breast cancer for the 2nd time

The first time I had it was 15 years ago and I was 44 years old. I had ductal carcinoma in situ stage 2, I had chemo 6 times and after I finished the chemo I had reconstruction on my right side. Things where going good for the 15 years. I would go every year for my check ups and mammograms. Well in Oct of last year (2015) I went for my yearly mammogram and they found something and advised me to see my dr. I had already make my yearly appt with the breast cancer dr. When I took the film to my dr. he didn't like what he say and advised me to have my left breast removed. It was cancer again, but this time it was only stage 0.

After having cancer the first time I started working with the American Cancer So. I visit other women ( and 1 man) that have had surgery and talk to them and take them gifts. I also started a cancer support group at my church. I enjoy talking to the ladies and giving them hope that there is life after cancer. And now I can prove to them there is life after having cancer twice.

Thank you

Donna Johnson
Conway, AR

One day at a time

May 2014 was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer and I had a lot fears running tho my mind cause I was 59. But I had battled my Breast Cancer and I had won that fight. I had a lot of prayers and I had hope on my side that help me with this fight and I had won my battle. So to this day I'm a Surviver and have been Cancer free for 15 months. There a little saying Cancer had touch my Breast and I kick butt.

Dee Goodnight
Whitefish, MT

Counting My Blessings

I never imagined that December 15,2015 would be the beginning of My Pink Warrior Breast Cancer Journey . I had been my Mother's Care Giver for the last 7 years until She lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer on May 7 ,2012. I neglected my health until recently . I had a routine screening Mammogram on November 7 and it was abnormal . So next on December 3 had Diagnostic Mammogram then followed the ultrasound and then on December 10 had a biopsy of my right breast, the findings were cluster microcalcifications . On December 30th I had a Lumpectomy Surgery findings were that I have DCIS Stage 0 with clear margins and non invasive Cancer . I'm currently having Radiation treatments for 6 weeks then doing Hormonal Blockade Therapy . I will never regret caring for My Mother . But I'm Counting My Blessings that My Diagnosis is an Early Detection after waiting 7 years before having My Yearly Mammogram . I am 52 years old. I have an Amazing Strong Supportive Husband of 33 years to come along and walk this Journey with me. My Faith is very strong ! My verse is I can do All things through Christ who strengthens me . Philippians 4:13

Sheila Lanier
Sealy, TX

Breast Cancer was not in my family history

In July of 2015 I went for my annual mammogram as I did each year with no thought of anything unusual happening. I left that day and they called me back in for a repeat on my right breast followed by an ultrasound. In my mind, I didn't think twice, as this had happen before only to find I had a cyst. Not this time...they did the repeat scan and ultrasound, and said it was suspicious and sent me right to the hospital for a biopsy. They said they would call me the next morning with the result, and when the phone rang that following morning I heard the words that anyone would dread that it was cancer. All I could think of was, are you sure?? I don't have any cancer history in my family at all, I exercise, eat very healthy, breast fed..did all the things that I thought would keep me exempt from ever getting it. I was diagnosed with Estrogen positive Ductal Invasive Carcinoma breast cancer stage 2 grade 2 at the age of 55. On Sept 30th of 2015 I had a lumpectomy, followed by 4 rounds of Chemo, last on on Dec 31st 2015 and lastly 4 weeks of radiation therapy that I finished on March 1st 2016. I lost my hair but it is growing back, and my body is beginning to heal. I am proud to say I am in remission and cancer free and kicked cancers butt! Please ladies, don't assume you are exempt! Get your mammograms! Here's to putting this behind me, onward and upward!

Marlborough, MA

My Journey to the Other Side of Victory

My journey began on September 7, 2015 at around 4am. I was asleep and during a dream God lifted my left hand and laid it on my right breast. I then woke up and felt the lump. I did not have health insurance at the time so I called the Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP). BCCCP is a program that offers FREE mammograms, breast screenings, pap smears and follow-up testing to eligible uninsured women. They scheduled me an appointment the next day. This was the beginning of the process that also included an ultra sound, a more extensive mammogram and a biopsy.

On October 1, 2015, we received the results of my biopsy. The tumor was malignant. Stage 2B Breast Cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma. After several test and appointments, it was decided that I would need a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. We prayed about it and was at peace with the course of treatment. God showed me the end of this journey, which was VICTORY, but He did not show me the road I would have to travel to get there, that is where faith comes in. All I will say is “Use me Lord and let your Will be done”. So no matter what this journey has in store for me, I have faith that my God will see me through.

Detroit, MI

I am stronger cause I had to be.

A little over a year ago I got the devastating news that I had breast cancer. Invasive lobular carcinoma, stage II. Wow, it shocked my world. With no family history, being fit ,exercising and eating healthy, I found myself struggling to accept this news. I had so many questions which doctors couldn't answer, so I did what everyone else does, Started reading on internet and bombarded myself with too much information about breast cancer. The initial treatment was surgery and radiation,but because of one lymph node involvement chemo was suggested as well. They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle. I guess I could handle it. Here I was, 41 years old, a single mom, raising two kids all by myself and having to deal with cancer. I knew I was strong,but this was out of my hands. I was scared and worried about my future,but I couldn't let the kids see the fear in me. I made a decision to fight and not to let cancer take over my life.Luckily I was able to handle the treatments really good,I never got sick, worked the whole time and continued to be there for my kids. After 2 surgeries, 4 months of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation, here I am celebrating my first anniversary as cancer free, wishing and hoping for many more to come .One thing I learned from this experience,that life is so unpredictable and cancer doesn't discriminate,it affects young and old, rich and poor. So these days I choose not to live in fear,I enjoy life a little more and spend more time doing the things I love to do with my family. And to everyone that has cancer or knows someone battling cancer,I tell them to fight and never lose hope,giving up is not an option.Keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with positive people,it makes a big difference.

Aida Meta
Trinity, FL

Gracie's Story - a Success Story

Despite the fact that breast cancer has a better survival rate than many other forms of the disease, being diagnosed with it is utterly terrifying. There are no guarantees for what lies ahead in the short or long term, aside from the fact that it will be painful and difficult. "Gracie’s Story: Fighting to Survive Breast Cancer" is the story of one woman’s survival from the shock of diagnosis to the joy and relief of becoming a cancer survivor.

Gracie was used to taking care of everything herself. A single mother of three, she was not easily scared. But learning she had Stage Three breast cancer was frightening. Facing the year-long road ahead of surgery and radiation was frightening. But Gracie was determined not to let that fear control her. She resolved to seek out happiness and laughter through every step of the long, painful road ahead. Now she is sharing how she did it and the difference it made to her in this newly published book. Living and Laughing through Treatment and Recovery. Three cornerstones held Gracie up through her experience of diagnosis, a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments: love, support and a positive attitude. For Gracie, staying positive became part of staying alive. She credits her ability to focus on things that brought happiness and laughter into her life with helping her come through cancer.

Support from loved ones is important, but reading the words of someone else who has been through the diagnosis and treatment and come out the other side as a survivor offers a deep sense of hope and encouragement. "Gracie’s Story: Fighting to Survive Breast Cancer" is not just optimistic get well wishes; it is one woman’s real life survival guide. In other words, it is an important read for anyone who has been recently diagnosed with cancer and those close to them.

"Gracie’s Story: Fighting to Survive Breast Cancer" available now on Amazon worldwide in paperback and electronic form.

Phoenix, AZ
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