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inspiration

I know the shock, worry and the fear. Still to this day it remains unclear. Why things happen the way that they do? There's not always an answer but you can get through! So many women along the way have shared their stories and have lot's to say. We are in this together and must stand strong. Determined to be what we were all along. Trust in your faith and medical team too. They are working real hard to do their best for you. So as the flames of hope light up the dark night. We celebrate life and fight the good fight!

kei
west warwick, RI

Sherry's Story

Hi....My name is Sherry and I am a new breast cancer survivor. It was last March 26th (1 year ago) when I got the call from my doctor, he simply said "Sherry, you have Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I was at work and I completely lost it. In shock and confused, I called everyone and gave them the bad news. My future was dim at that point, I can tell you this...not for one moment did I think that I was going to die. Yes, it is devastating, but I'm a fighter. I dreaded my treatments, but they went ok. I never thought this would happen to me...but it did. I am a stronger person now. You can be too. My family and friends are and have been very supportive. They make me strong. Never give up hope and one day there will a cure. I hope my story will encourage people not to give up....there is hope...just keep your faith intact. Keep your head up. I'll be praying for all. GOD BLESS.

Sherry Bushek
Katy, TX

Stress - Fertile grounds for cancer

It has been a bumpy ride; too many years lost, to anger, sadness, uncertainties, etc. It does take a toll on our bodies. No matter what could come our way, my husband would take it at face value, reflect upon it, realize it is out of his control and forget about it. I, on the other hand, would spend hours of each day, stewing, allowing everything to get to me.

I found myself taking naps during the day, simply to allow my mind to rest. Too many emotions clouded my mind, as I would allow everything to slowly bring me down. How I wished I could have my husband's attitude, but unfortunately, I care a little too much about everything and I found myself always needing to know the "why?" behind everything. "Why does this person treat me the way they do?" "What have I done to them?" "Why is this happening to us?" The endless "Why?", never gave me any answers and it fueled me with doubt, with anger, with sheer disgust for this world we were living in. None of it made sense, as we are good people, always there for others in need, always the first in line to help.

This needing to know, needing to make sense, needing to understand, consumed me. It caused me to make myself ill, deep within. As a result, my body could only take so much and retaliated.

They say, the most crucial part of recovery, when dealing with cancer, is to avoid stress, to free oneself of stressful situations and people. I would require an induced coma to be able to pull that one off, with everything that keeps happening to us and around us.

For now, I must avoid all stress. People who live and thrive on drama, must be set aside. I must free myself of all negativity and simply reflect on what is most important in my life, my husband and my children. Without me, in their lives, there would be no family to come home to.

Thank you cancer, for saving my life.

Nina Wozniak
Montreal, QC, Canada

My fight

My name is Shannon..I was diagnosed Feb 11th will stage 3 breast cancer..On march 6th I had a double masectomy and on April 1st I start my first round of chemo....I'm scared but also know I have God and a lot of family and friends here to support me..I have and never will loose my Faith..I'm blessed in so many ways...it's funny that no one in my family has ever had Breast cancer but I'm the first..I guess the good Lord above knows I'm a fighter and that I will never give up....I'm praying for all the women and men who are going or have gone through this terrible thing..Keep your love and Faith in God and all will be ok....God Bless...

Shannon
Hannibal, MO

My mom, Stephanie.

I am a supporter of my mom Stephanie Roberts. She is a survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, where she was terminally ill. She was her own bone marrow donor. They gave her a few months to live and told her that she could not have any kids. However, she proved them wrong in both cases. She had my older sister, and named her Miracle. Later, she had me and named me Bethany. She also proved them wrong when they gave her a few months to live. She is still alive 20 years later. Now I am supporting her. She was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer a few months ago. It has spread to her liver as well as the bone of her rib cage. She began her chemo on March 24, 2014. She will make it through this. Why? Because she is strong. She has faith, hope, and strength. Live strong and fight on!

Bethany Roberts
Kansas City, KS

Back To Front

Those 5 words i will never forget.

You have secondry breast cancer........... but I am only 24 I said and I have an 18 month old baby

So the journey began, right side mastectomy,chemo,doctors,xrays,and i even had some real bad hair days.

flying to perth every 3 weeks as our small town was not equipped for administering chemo etc

I am now 57 have the BRACA GENE and I have had the other breast removed plus a total hysterectomy

13 + me have the gene on my dads side and my 32 year old boy is one of the 13.

My title is not meant to be insensitive but you really can not tell the back from the front <3

cheers Deb

debbie howden
bundaberg, Australia

Trust You Instincts

The first surgeon I went to told me there was nothing wrong and asked, " What do you want me to do? Stink a needle in your boob and pop your implant? " I never saw that doctor again. Go to a research team-based center. You deserve the latest, best informed information from a team, not a single individual opinion. You know when something is not right with your own body. Find the team that respects and values your input.

Further, there are a few in the cancer community that are pushing for IS/contained cancer to be monitored and not treated and no longer classified as cancer. I have followed some of the debate. But from personal experience, I am thankful that my doctor at University of Cincinnati Barrett Center, the doctor from Sloan-Kettering who recently debated on PBS News Hour as well as other medical professionals that know that cancer is cancer is cancer.

Waiting for cancer in infiltrate/invade was not a risk that needed to be "monitored" and that was a decision made with my treatment team and family. I had a bilateral mastectomy. My cancer was contained, all 18.2 x 5.4 x 3.6 cm and my path. report revealed significant changes in thee other breast. Changes related to lobular cancer, not the DCIS of the left breast.

Never gone "public" but it is time in support of treatment, acknowledgement of large institutions that know that cancer contained is cancer, and to debunk the myths and "gossip" that exist.

Support research, local organizations, and people on this journey whether it's someone that opts for preventative measures following genetic testing, removal of contained cancers, treatments that may be different than the norm, and/or a person's right to alternative measures, or to stop treatment.

Let's respect individuals, medical teams of professionals, and decisions made between patients and their care communities.

Jennifer
Oxford, OH

April 2014 . . . . . 17 years!

April 2014 I will celebrate 17 years being in remission from breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 49 with stage 2 breast cancer. I had skipped a year having my mammogram and when I finally had it, my doctor saw two "suspicious" areas, both turned out to be cancer. A left breast mastectomy was done followed by four infusions of cytoxen and adriamycin--my life was spared. Since that time I have shared the importance of breast cancer awareness to everyone who will listen. in 2007, together with friends, we raised over $10,000 and walked the Susan Komen 3-Day in Phoenix. That was the year I turned 60--2007--which also marked my ten year anniversary. Everyday is a gift. And I thank GOD that he spared me so I could tell my story and maybe through it, others will become aware of this horrible but "curable" disease. Please support breast cancer awareness. Share with your friends the importance of mammograms and self examination.

Donna

Donna Flower Kievit
New Bedford, MA

my story of breast cancer

From a young age I knew all about cancer, my mother died at 29yrs old from breast cancer I just 5yrs old. It made me and my sisters very aware of it, so when I found my lump at 25yrs old I knew straight away and went to the doctor the next day and got referred to belfast city hospital where I spent 3hrs getting tests done and finally on 16th january 2012 I was diagnosed with 3rd stage aggressive breast cancer. I have 3 young children just like my mum but I remained positive and went for surgery after 1st surgery I needed more as they found it had sprend which knocked me abit but then I got it and went for 6months of chemo which was hell hated the needles the sickens missing out on things with my kids cuz I was so ill but finally finished that and started 4wks of radiotherapy til I finally was told I was finished treatment exactly one week from Christmas. But on 3rd January my birthday I received a letter saying im a brca 1 gene carrier, I was upset as ive a 90% chance of getting cancer, but on the plus side I get alot more check ups and therapist for more surgery and family members where able to be tested aswel. Im still waiting for more surgery which will reduce my % of getting cancer again which will be relief. Im 28yrs old now and been cancer free for 2yrs now

Jodie Mcauley
belfast, Ireland

A Second Look at Life

There is a particular week in 2008 that brings a mix of good and bad memories: my husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and closed on our first home, my son was turning three-years-old and starting preschool and, oh yeah, I was diagnosed with stage three triple negative breast cancer at the age of 29. I have memories of packing our belongings to move into our new home and just collapsing on the floor in tears. I remember my wonderful doctor spending 2 hours with me explaining my treatment plan. I remember each of my friends signing up to go with me for my chemo appointments and sitting there with me the entire time. It was, during this time in my life, that I saw how strong my family and friends are and how valuable they are to me. I put my faith in God and kept going!

I remember one appointment with my doctor when we were discussing my fertility during chemo. He said, "there is a chance you won't be able to have more children after chemo." I was devastated because I always wanted to give my son a sibling to grow up with. We continued with my treatment. 8 chemo treatments followed by 30 days of radiation, a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.

That was 5 years ago this month! Just last week I saw my doctor for the last of six-month check-ups. I can now go once a year. Triple negative breast cancer is the most aggressive type of breast cancer. I am so thankful to my family, friends, doctors, but most importantly to God for giving a second look at life. The best part of this story is that I DID give my son a sibling. In 2011, I had a healthy, happy baby boy! There is hope ! There is ALWAYS hope!

Lisa Milne
TAMPA, FL
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