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Everything will be okay

I was 20 weeks’ pregnant when I first heard the words that took my breath away – “You have cancer.” My husband and I tried for 6 years before conceiving and now I had Hodgkin’s – cancer of the lymph nodes. We looked at each other and whispered “It’ll be okay,” and it was. Samantha was born at 34 weeks and I had 5 weeks of radiation to my neck and chest and was clear. Fifteen years flew by and when I was 45 I had my first mammogram; see, I figured I’d done the cancer thing, so why worry? It turned out that was the last mammogram I needed. Again I heard those words that took my breath away, “You have cancer.” It is definitely not easier hearing those words a second time. I had bilateral infiltrating lobular breast carcinoma. They said it was from the radiation that I had for Hodgkin’s. My husband took my hand and said “It’ll be okay. We’ll make it through.” My daughter hugged me and said “I love you mom. It’ll be okay,” and it was. I had bilateral mastectomy and 6 rounds of chemo. They wouldn't do radiation because of the radiation I had. I started a new job the day before my 2nd chemo, I carried on with life because that’s what I do. I didn't have reconstruction at the time of mastectomy because I needed to prove to myself that I was still me without breasts. It wasn't anything that was ever said to me, it was in my head alone that I was proving a point. After 4 years I decided I didn't want to prove a point anymore and wanted reconstruction, and my husband and daughter said “okay, we can do this,” and we did. I am almost a 6-year survivor of breast cancer now, and it has not made me who I am, but life has, all the good and bad together and I am right where I’m supposed to be.

Three Lakes, WI

"An Awakening"

When I was diagnosed with Breast cancer a few years back, I reacted like most who receive a cancer diagnose; first thing came to mind was a “death sentence”. However, I found out later that it was truly “an awakening” for me, even after being diagnosed with another (colon) cancer a few years later. I began questioning God, why would you do this to me? What had I done in life so bad to have this placed upon me? But instead of bemoaning my fate, I decided to look for the positive side of it.

I also realized that I was about to face a new beginning, new hope, do and see more with a whole new prospective on life. I also knew that I would develop and gain strength from all my experiences. For a while, I wasn't happy with the way I looked, nor the pain I had to endure each day, but I decided to snap out of it; because even with the pain I had to endure through each diagnose, I still feel truly blessed. I think about the individuals that are no longer among us. I also realized that there will always be someone worse off than I am, so who am I to complain.

Writing had become therapy for me, where I composed many poems during my breast cancer period and placed them into book form. I was blessed enough to have that book published, along with another, and now working on my third. With my inspirational writing, I wish to make a positive impact on someone who's ill or otherwise, where they could develop the strength to embrace life in a whole new way. I truly believe when you survive a horrific tragedy or a horrible disease as cancer, it's for a reason, “you have a purpose”. I'm a true example that you can survive cancer not once, but twice, providing you catch it in time, have faith and allow that faith to direct your path.

Karen Rice

x2 Cancer Survivor/Author

Karen Rice
Houston, TX

Listen to your instinct

After delivering my 4th child my OBGYN joked with me and said if you intend on nursing her you'll never have to worry about breast cancer. For years I thought the same thing. I nursed four children, had no generic history and was only 39 when I felt a nagging suspicion that something was wrong. I even googled breast cancer symptoms and being as I didn't have any of them I didn't think anything about it.

A couple of months later I was still experiencing this thought that wouldn't go away that something was wrong. All of my attention kept being drawn back to my left breast. I had some passing tenderness but nothing that was consistent and no lump. I called my doctor the next month and they asked me if I was having symptoms and when I said no, they said being as I'm almost 40 they would schedule a mammogram. But I'm pretty sure they thought I was crazy. The mammographer and ultrasound technician couldn't feel a lump either but the mammogram did show a small cycst. I did a core guided biopsy and the results came back a few days later as malignant.

I wasn't surprised because I felt like there was something wrong. I was stunned though of coarse that it was happening at such a young age. I was given options by a surgeon and for many factors I chose to be aggressive and have a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I am just now four days post surgery and at home recovering. The future looks good as it was not in my lymph nodes and will not need further treatment.

The hardest part for me was telling my 4 daughters. And now the waiting is hard as I will soon find out the results of the BRCA test to see if my girls will be more at risk someday.

What I'm trying to teach my girls, and others, to listen to their gut feeling. It ultimately saved my life.

Melissa Hazlett
Lawson, MO


My name is Whitney Payne. March 11,2011 I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer . That the doctor said spread to my lymph nodes. It was only the left breast. Before when I was 19 had cancer in my left hand so through many tests they said it was not connected with the first one . But both on the left I had many questions why cancer once and why again after 20 some years. I was lucky to get wonderful treatment at Mass General Hospital . I had a extensive treatment with chemo lasting over a year and 3 months of radiation each and every day and I had mastectomy and reconstruction surgery as well. In October of 2011 while going through treatment was getting really bad headache that never seem to go away so made doctor do tests and it showed through a MRI I had a brain tumor . For now they would just watch it.every 6 months with a MRI to see if any changes well in January of 2014 through a regular MRI found out the tumor grew so in March 18,2014 had yet another surgery to remove the brain tumor . The outcome of that was it was a benign tumor thank god and recovered well . I finished my chemo in May of 2012 and this was a happy day. I did all this fighting for my life as a single parent and never gave up the fight even when some days were easier than others. I have certainly been through so much but having cancer a second time has really given me a new perceptive on life . I encourage everyone to follow up with a simple mammogram it could save your life.

Whitney Payne
Marblehead, MA

My Breast Cancer Story

I went for my annual mammogram June 2014. Two days later, I received a call to come back for extensive testing. I had a more extensive mammogram and the radiologist informed me he found calcifications. Had a needle biopsy on 6/23/14. I expected the worse but was hoping for the best since breast cancer runs in my immediate family. Received a call from the radiologist on June 24th. My oldest daughters 40th birthday and my late mothers birthday. I had LCIS breast cancer. I was sent to a surgeon on July 1st. Set up for a MRI on July 7th. Everything is happening so fast I haven't had time to absorb it all. Per my surgeon, he feels confident I will only need a lumpectomy with no follow up treatment. But now my chances are so high of cancer returning. I am researching a complete double masectomy. This may be the best solution for me. My whole life has been changed in less than a month. Wish me luck!!!!!

Rita Kidd
Louisville, KY

Second time around

In Januar of 2004, I had a baseline mammogram done at the insistence of my OB/GYN. With no history of breast cancer in family I was not so sure but I made the call & went in. To my surprise they called me to come back in for magnified mammo since they found something but it was real small. After another mammo & a biopsy, I was diagnosed with stage 1 DCIS. I then had a mastectomy followed by reconstruction. Told everything was good & didn't have to have left breast mammoed again. Forward to August of 2012. I went on a weekend camping trip to the beach. Came home and discovered my left breast was red, so I assumed it was a bug bite. 2 weeks later still red but now swollen & hot to the touch, I went to doctor told it was mastitis & given 2 antibiotics. After the 10 days no better, so went to a different doctor. He sent me for a biopsy that afternoon. On September 13, 2012, just 3 days later and the day after I saw the Stanley Cup, I got the news. I had stage 3 Inflammatory breast cancer. How could I have breast cancer in a reconstructed breast, was my firsf question. After getting all my questiona answered & lots of tears, I kicked into fighting mode. Went to oncologist the next week & started weekly chemo the next week. On January 14, 213, I had my second mastectomy, this time no reconstruction. A month later went back to chemo since cancer was found in my lymph nodes. On July 31, 2013, I had my last round of chemo. Here I am, almost a year later, cancer free, enjoying life and a second Stanley Cup win by my beloved Los Angeles Kings.

Denise FitzGerald
Los Angeles, CA

My story

I was diagnosed in Feb 2014 with stage 3 breast cancer..Not at all something I was ready to hear..I have had a bi

Lateral double mastectomy 10 rounds of chemo with 6 more to go then 25 rounds of radiation...and of all things I found another lump....I go in for a biopsy sometime this week..:( I really don't know what to write not very good at this...I pray for all those who are dealing or have dealt with cancer in any way shape or form....

Hannibal, MO

Ten days and my life changed forever

Breast cancer doesn't run in my family so I never really feared it. I had my regular mammograms without any incident. One Friday I was getting ready for work and felt a huge hard lump in my left breast. Where did this suddenly appear from? After a long weekend of worrying I got into my doctor's office to check it out. Everything moved so quickly from that point. Diagnostic mammo, biopsy, and then the bad news. Invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 2b. I had two tumors and it was in four lymph nodes. Chemo began immediately. Ten days was all it took to change my life. Bi-lateral mastectomies, radiation and reconstruction. All words that I never really understood until now. While I let it bring me down in the beginning, I don't anymore. I am a survivor. And with my family and friends I can get through anything. Keep checking those tatas ladies!

Woodford, VA

In memory of my mother

May 8th 1994, mothers day, I lost my mother to breast cancer. I had just turned 6 years old a few months before. She was 17 when she was diagnosed and passed away at the age of 27. I despise cancer. It robbed me of my Mother and I have only one memory of her and that is, every night she would kneel beside her bed for hours, praying. I don't know what its like to have a mother. I think of her often and what my life would be like if she were here. My children do not have their grandmother and I don't have my mother. June 25th 2008, 4 moths before my dads very first grand-daughter, my daughter, was born, my dad also passed away from cancer. So now im left without my parents. With nothing. Rest In Peace to my Mother and Father and prayers to EVERYONE who is fighting this horrible sickness.

Fort Smith, AR

Early detection is SO important!

I just turned 30 three months before. On this particular day I bought a magazine while at the grocery store. It contained a whole section on women's diseases which I chose not to read. My grandmother had recently died from breast cancer and I already knew how devastating it was.

That night, while getting ready for bed, I removed my bra. I ran my hands around my breasts and on the right breast I felt a thickening which I had not felt before. I panicked. I picked up the new magazine and read the part about breast cancer.

I was in the Doctor's office the next morning. He sent me to the surgeon that afternoon. The surgeon tried to put my mind at ease. He said not to worry, it was just a cyst and I could make arrangements in 3 or 4 days to have it removed. At that point I was so worried that he decided we would do the surgery the next morning. I was sedated and taken to surgery, and totally unbeknownst to me, the thickening was malignant. My left breast was removed along with all of the muscle, lymph nodes and any tissue that was in the involved site. They had performed a radical mastectomy. When I woke up I was in a great deal of pain and put my hand on my left breast and realized it was gone. At that point I didn't know if I was more upset about having cancer or losing my breast. I cried a lot!!

Due to the fact that the tumor was so small, no chemo or radiation was ordered. Even though I felt relieved that I found this so early (early detection) I was devestated at being so disfigured.

Looking back though, I'm glad the radical mastectomy was performed. I feel it saved my life. You see, the surgery was done in 1967. I am now 77 rears old and a 47 year breast cancer surviver. I pray that my story will give hope to some of my Pink Sisters out there.

Joanne Mowery
Shelby Township, MI
Why this ad? Why this ad? Why this ad? God Has This One Pink Ribbon Necklace
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