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Surviving Breast Cancer / Divorce / Pneumonia

Well what I thought was going to be a normal checkup turned out to be the beginning of a nightmare..I was 37 years old and was told that I had Stage 11 Breast Cancer..I just couldn't believe that something like this could happen to me but it did..I would later have surgery and start my treatments not knowing what else was fixing to happen to me..All during my treatments my husband was there but not physically or mentally..Ignoring me all the time and sleeping on the couch..It hurt but I knew that I had to fight this terrible disease that had taken over my body. The treatments were terrible but I fought through them giving god all the glory..During this time I begged and begged my husband to not leave me but he chose to do so anyway..He would literally serve me on my last treatment....Forcing me to move out of my brand new home and telling me to find me some insurance..In my mind I was thinking how could somebody be so mean and cruel but I knew God still had me in his hands and he had a purpose..I then caught several different kinds of pneumonia and not expecting to live but by the grace of god..He pulled me through once again and I gave him all the glory..To this day I haven't heard from my husband and I am now a 3 year survivor..How he lives with himself, I do not know, but I do know that god has met everyone of my needs and has never, ever let me down..He got me through the chemo, my hair falling out and radiation..As well as all of the other terrible side affects that go along with chemo and radiation..So remember FIGHT LIKE A GIRL AND FIGHT IT HARD...And remember that you can overcome anything you want to..But you have to get strong and stay strong..I know that god left me here to help other women and give them hope and courage and that is exactly what I will do..SO FIGHT IT HEAD ON AND BE STRONG..

tammy montgomery
odenville, AL

Belife is the key

When hearing the word cancer, we think of death. Not all cancers end up with death. With proper support and strong belief in god and yourself, you can beat your cancer.

Days before my 26th birthday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hearing the news, I was so shocked as no one in my family have had breast cancer or any cancer. And now me at the age of 26!! 13 January 2014 I had I lumpectomy and nodes removal. After that I started chemotherapy and radiation just after chemo. Chemo was the worst of all, the support I had from my family and husbands was huge. They provided me with all means of support I needed, financial and emotional. I couldn’t do it without them. The key to win this battle is to believe in god and in yourself. Believe you could beat the cancer, try to imagine the good times you will have in the future with your loved ones. Try to be optimistic all the way long. I am sure we all have the strength to win the battle. Enjoy your life to the max while you still living cause we aren’t staying here forever!

ula khaled
sana'a, Yemen

WHERE ARE YOU?

“I'm right here, standing beside you--holding you up as the tiredness of your last chemotherapy treatment is taking over. Now is the time for you to rest. Rest is healing. My Angels will be watching over you.”

“I'm right here, behind you--giving you gentle pushes forward since you are not feeling as strong in yourself today.”

“I'm right here, in front of you--leading the way over this rough cancer road, helping to make it a little more bearable.”

“I'm right here, inside you--as difficult as your journey is for you, you can still reach out and help others. I will help you to accomplish more than you thought possible.”

“I'm right here. I am your boss. I am your father. I love you like no other can.”

And in the fall of 2010, while I was in treatment for breast cancer, He was right there in answer to my prayers--I wanted to help other women as they, too, traveled their own unique cancer journeys.

He is here when I ask Him to help me author special letters and testimonials.

He is right here, answering prayers that I have not even thought to say yet.

He is right here, meeting every need I have in order to administer The Sparkle Caps Project, as we uplift, empower, love and pray for other women through sponsored Sparkle Caps gift bags.

He is right here, helping me to tell other women that, in spite of our hair loss, we are HOT CHICKS; that our hair is not tied to our femininity.

WHERE ARE YOU? “I am in you! And I am in you! And I am in you! I know your pain. I know your fears. Trust in Me and trust the plan that I have for you!”

Susan "Victorious" Heimbigner
Sumter, SC

My story...alive with No Regrets

After losing my Mom to breast, bone and lung cancer in 2005, I was diagnosed with stage lll breast cancer in Sept. Of 2007. As I got the diagnosis, my husband and best friend (my awesome support system) began to cry because I would require a double mastectomy. My surgeon laughed when I told them to stop crying... because (at 45) I would get to have them put back where they were supposed to be. I went through chemo first to shrink the cancer...just too much for a surgeon to remove, then a double mastectomy. Weird thing is, I wasn't scared. I guess my thought process was it is what it is, I am tough and will fight. Unfortunately, like many before me, I too had many complications. Infections, collapsed lung, Bells Palsy, which resulted in the right side of my face being permanently paralyzed (just to name a few). Oh, and the getting them back to where they were suspposed to be came in a much smaller size ( very happy that I now get to save money for things other than bras). It was a long tough fight and took almost 5 years of battling the pain in every joint, loss of muscle, weight loss, chemo brain and just a lack of strength and the ability to do the most basics of everyday life. However there is good news. I am proud to say that currently I am kicking cancer's ass. As of the 13th of Sept., it has been 7 years since my diagnosis. I feel strong and finally whole again despite my many battle scars and missing parts. To all those that have or may suffer from this terrible life threatning and debilitating illness, I pray that the good Lord gives you an awesome support system to help you stay strong and remain positive to fight the good fight. Much peace and love to you all.

Leslie Dietel
Longmont, CO

Surviving the odds

I was first diagnosed with early stage hormone receptor positive breast cancer in 2003 when I was 33. After 6 months of chemotherapy I was declared in remission and put on hormone therapy. A year later I had the Gold standard tram flap done where I elected to have my right breast removed too, and my stomach muscles brought up on both sides to form breasts. In 2009 I had my first relapse and found out the cancer had progressed to stage 4. It was in my lungs, liver, kidneys and wide spread in my bones. I felt let down by the system where the tumor marker blood tests had failed to pick up the cancer’s progression. After radiation and towards the end of 9 months of chemotherapy, I was experiencing breathlessness and dizziness. X-rays revealed that I had fluid building up in my chest cavity. A week and two operations later, they had drained 5 liters of fluid. After recovering, I was put on intensive hormone therapy. With a loving and supportive husband and three daughters still to raise, I threw down the gauntlet and was determined that I wasn’t going down without a fight! In December 2012 I, together with 11 other survivors undertook an expedition into Antarctica to raise awareness. Unfortunately in 2013 I relapsed once again and to everyone’s shock and dismay, my cancer had turned from being a positive to a triple negative disease. I slogged through 6 more months of chemotherapy and luckily responded very well to treatment. I’m stable yet again but remain on maintenance treatments consisting of low grade chemotherapy and Avastin, delivered intravenously on a monthly basis through a port. My experience with this disease has enriched me emotionally and spiritually beyond measure and made me a far stronger person than I otherwise would be today. I truly treasure every day, hour, minute, second. I recently started a blog where I am chronicling my experiences and if I can help just one other person, then it won’t have been all for nothing. You can visit it on http://survivingallodds.com

Sarah Avis
Pretoria, South Africa

"He Maketh Me to Lie Down"

"When your oncologist pronounces that you have Stage One breast cancer and you have lost your seven inches of hair from treatment, sometimes all you can do is lie down by the riverside and let it all go."

There is no rewind button on life, and at 48 years old, I have absolutely no regrets about my diet, exercise, spirituality, family, life decisions, etc. Cancer did not cause me to panic or to regret.

If you are a woman, please fight well now because you are by statistics ‘one out of eight.’ Be the most excellent version of you now. This is how you fight like a woman!

Rhonda Singletary
Moss Point, MS

My Husband is my Hero

At 40, in 2010 as a birthday present to myself, I scheduled my first mammogram. It went fine, no issues. The following year, I went in for my second mammogram. The nurse found a small lump which was followed up by an ultrasound. I received a notice from the hospital, stating result "benign", nothing to be worried about. The lump never went away, in fact, it seemed to get larger over the next few months. It never caused me any pain or issues and after all was benign. Life went on, in June of 2012 my boyfriend proposed. We set a date and on September 8, 2012 I married the love of my life in Lake Tahoe, CA. My husband received a call with a job offer the same week, the hitch, it was in Salt Lake City, UT...UGGH I had no desire to ever live there...EVER. While celebrating our wedding I could not help but feel heartbroken as this amazing opportunity meant leaving our home, our friends and my family. I had been unemployed for a year an this job would ease that burden. So we returned to Boise to start the process of moving. We both made appointments with our Doctors to get our records and take them with us. My OBGYN was concerned with the "lump" and scheduled another ultrasound and an order to have "cyst" removed. As I completed the ultrasound they asked if I would like to have my husband to come back to be with me? I was puzzled, not sure what that meant when the tech advised they would be performing a biopsy and not aspiration. We didn't really understand what was going on. On Oct 15, 2012, my husbands first day at his new job, I received a call with the diagnosis of Breast Cancer. I believe that if it was not for my husband and his new job, I would not be alive today to tell my story. As of today I am 2 years out and cancer free, I owe my life to my husband, he truly is my hero.

Sonya Rabe
Meridian, ID

Always believe, always love, always forgive and always live for today.

I was diagnosed with stage 2 her2 positive breast cancer in 2012, I was 40, single two beautiful children Taryn and Calyn. I remember clearly the words from the doctors mouth, please do not hate me you have breast cancer. I remember looking up at him with tears rolling down my face, and next half hour I sat in the room with my best friend Jeanette and cried. On the way home I called my big sister and as a nurse she bravely said we will get through this. I was numb, alone, scared and I just kept hearing those words. How could I tell my kids and family we were already going through lung cancer with my dad, finally calling my big brother we told mum the news, the look in here eyes and she was in shock, we left it to her to tell dad and from that moment the bond between me and my parents became the strongest it had ever been, especially me and dad. I moved in and we went through treatments and appointments, we shared some of the most amazing and private moments. Over the next few months he got worse and In June he went back in for a blood transfusion and he got worse, we called in the family and spent the next three nights by his bedside, and were there when he took his last breath we played slim dusty for him. Saying goodbye was not easy, and then a gift was given to me from my dad , a picture of me and my kids with love dad on it, I cried for hours. I decided I can not keep going through this and all though I had chemo and radiation and had no sign of it returning at my recent mammogram and biopsy I feel I can not take any more chances. Am now eating healthy, exercising and in the new year will have my double masectomy and reconstruction. Now everyday I live with more love, hope, determination and positivity then I ever have.

Carol Ward
Ingham, Australia

My Pink Road

June 13, 2013. I felt a lump in my right breast, not too big but not too small. After an ultrasound, a mammography and a biopsy the doctor told me I had Cancer. My world came down, I thought that my life would end at my 37... I cried, and it was hard to understand and to explain to myself Why me? I thought about my little girl daughter who was 13 and what would she do if I died.

One week later I had a lumpectomy T1A Her-2+ was the name of my lump, and It was a successful surgery, three weeks later another surgery to put a catheter which was a difficult surgery, I am dancer since I was 5, before I received the C news I was training for a new theater performance, so I decided not to quit the idea to be in the stage, I promised myself that no matter how hard it was or the difficulties I had to pass through I will be on stage dancing for me, for my daughter, for my sisters, for my friends and all the ladies in the world.

It was hard, the chemotherapy made my muscles got thinner and weak, I started getting weight and most of the times I felt swollen, but that did not stop me, I knew that I could be a winner and God was holding my hand. The day came and the stage was the proof of my effort, belief and faith. I did it, I shined and dance with my soul, I showed the C I was stronger that it. Now, after all those difficulties and happiness I finished my treatment, but a new news appears, the cancer decided to stay a little longer, the doctors have told me the they will practice a double mastectomy, that it is the best, once again I will fight stronger than before, I won´t quit dancing, loving or living, I have many reasons to, the first my daughter, the second my husband and family and third one ME. I will be a survivor.

Temilie Arias D
San Jose, Costa Rica

It's worth the battle

January 9 2010 I was lying in bed talking to my wonderful husband, as I rolled over onto my back I raised my right hand and laid it on my right breast. ( I don't know why I did this only that it happened) That's when I noticed something different, I had a lump that wasn't there before. I was only 34 years old and I thought there was no way it could be cancer. I was too young but my past told me other wise. At the age of 20 I had cervical cancer, so I knew I better have it checked. I called my Doctor that Monday and he saw me the that Wednesday. At that appointment he didn't like the feeling of it and sent me over to have an ultra sound done right away. I went and had the ultra sound done and the wonderful person that was doing the test went to get her supervisor and he said it didn't look right and wanted to do a biopsy right away. So I got ready for it and I can honestly say that it hurt and I was terrified, and by myself because I truly was hoping the outcome was so different. The fallowing Monday I got the call at work that I needed to get the doctors office to go over my results. My husband picked me up and that was when I was told I had breast cancer. I couldn't speak, all I could do was cry. I was so scared I had 3 beautiful children and my wonderful husband. I went to see a surgeon and decided to have my breast removed. I than started chemo and that's when I decided I needed to have my other breast removed as well because the chances of the cancer coming back was very high. I also decided to have a full hysterectomy so that the cancer couldn't come back there as well. I am happy to say I am cancer free! It is worth the fight

Sandra Corbitt
Dolores, CO
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