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your gonna lose that breast

I had a lil discharge in my right nipple I November of 2012 ,I didn't really think anything of it .I had no pain and 5 months later my whole breast was a big hard lump my nipple was inverted.I was like wow I was scared .I really didn't think it was cancer.I went to the doctor and he took one look at it and said you know your gonna lose that breast.I just started to cry and told my husband I had had breast cancer.I had a radical mastectomy,my mental state through all this is not good,it is very hard for Mr let my husband look at me sexually.I hate looking at my self in the mirror I just want to smash all of the mirrors in my house.my husband was my rock going through all of this madness,I had 4 months of chemo and 2 months of radiation.my husband is just glad I'm alive and so am I ,but he doesn't understand how it took my self confidence ,I always was a skinny no butt no boob girl anyways the older I got the note I filled out ,I will be 50 in 2 weeks .im waiting on being reconstructed now ,its been just a little over a year I had my surgery.next month I will be cancer free for a year.I ended my radiation this past July.I have to wait a year after all treatment to start reconstruction ,being I had cancer cells .thank you for letting me tell my story good luck to all of us survivors and god be with you Andrea colwell in s.c.

Andrea colwell
manning, SC

My mothers story

This is my Mother, young and beautiful and full of life. I remember the phone call i got that my mother was in the hospital. When i went up to see her she looked quite ill, like i have never seen her before. She was diagnosed with stage lV breast cancer. The cancer had spread to her lungs, filling them with fluid. she was hospitalized for quite some time before doctors have given us her final diagnosis which they expected her to only live for 3 more months. our lives were shattered. My mother is only 52 years old and this probably could have been cured if she visited a doctor more often and caught it at an earlier stage. Mother started to look better after awhile, she had the most amazing spirit and strength and she had this beautiful glow to her i swear it looked like she was getting younger..i was so proud of her. She fought a long hard battle. she went for chemotherapy treatments and after radiation. Her doctor told us the cancer obviously could not be cured but it looked to be controlled and not spreading any further. After a second opinion we were told it spread to her spine and bones.. what a great doctor huh? She still fought being wheelchair bound and all she was still in great spirit..I lost my mother October 11 2014 but She lived 8 months longer than expected. This isnt meant to scare anyone but to give hope. here was a woman that doctors said there was absolutely no hope for and her amazing spirit gave her more time with family. Also a reminder to get those MAMMOGRAMS and please take care of yourselves!


Cancer de mama

Hola soy Lizeth Alanis tengo 40 añitos, yo soy sobreviviente de cancer de mama, en el 2012 desidi hacer ejercisio porque estaba pasadita de peso, llege a bajar 30 libras y gracias a eso me detecte una bolita en el seno derecho, la verdad lo deje a la desidia pensando que habia echo mal un ejercicio o simplemente algun cambio hormonal etc. , desido ir al doctor y me hacen todos los estudios y salio positvio. Fue algo muy dificl ya que cuando te dicen tienes cancer el mundo se te viene para abajo y pensamos me voy a morir, fueron 8 quimoterapias que se volvieron 11 ya que mi pancreas e higado se estaban dañando, fue cuando la dr. me dijo que no podia tomar nada para el dolor, recuerdo ese dia, que voltie hacia el cielo y le digo: diosito ayudame a aguantar o mandamelas mas sauves, despues de esto siguio la cirugia fue una maxectomia del lado derecho y al mes empese las radiaciones ,33, gracias a mi padre dios,a mi esposo y mis hijas, salimos de esta. Termine mi tratamiento el 20 de marzo del 2013, segui mi vida normal claro haciendo ejercisio, en marzo del 2014 yo vi un accidente automovilistico y me detube ayudar a la familia gracias a eso me dolio mucho mi brazo derecho y me senti una bolita le hablo a la doctora y despues de unos examenes para mi mala suerte otra ves CANCER del mismo lado, lo dificil fue contarle a mi esposo nos abrazamos muy fuerte por mucho tiempo y el me decia: "Cielo, vamos a salir de esta, y yo le dije claro".Ahora el problema era hablar con mis hijas, de 15 y 13 años ellas lloraron mucho, suspire y les digo: mis hijas si pasamos la primera, porque no pasar la segunda. Fueron 8 quimoterapias, cirugia y radiacciones dos diarias por 3 semanas y gracias a dios y a mi familia por su apoyo aqui estoy, y ahora yo puedo decir YO SOY SOBREVIVIENTE DE CANCER POR SEGUNDA VEZ

Lizeth Alanis
West Olive, MI

Fight Like a Girl

My story began on September 4, 2014 during my annual mammorgram appointment. The technician was taking several more images of my left breast than normal and at that time I knew something was not right. The following day I received a telephone call to come back in for more images. Following more images, an ultrasound, and a neddle biopsy on September 19th I did receive the call with the unwanted words, "you do have breast cancer." I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. Being a healthy woman in her 50s who takes no medication and no breast cancer history in my immediate family it certainly came as a shock to me. I was quick to adopt my new motto, "FIght Like a Girl."

Without hesitation I went to Boston to seek a second opinion and agreed to genectic testing to rule out risks for my daughter and granddaughter. The results were favorable and though I know they can as well develop breast cancer it is good to know the results were negative. Further testing includng an MRI and second biopsy identified a second tumor now on my right breast. After much consideration, I did take my surgeons advise to have a lumpectomy on each breast along with removal of lymph nodes. The surgery was completed on November 18th and the results are as good as they could be. The left tumor was completely removed with clear margins, the nodes are clear, and the right side tumor was A typical (non cancerous).

The overwhelming love and care expressed by family and friends has been the strength guiding me through this life challenge presented to me. My husband has been my rock and by my side for every appointment and procedure. I will be forever grateful for the support expressed by all. Now on to phase 2 which will include 4-6 weeks of radiation. Chemotherapy has yet to be ruled out and will be a topic of discussion at my follow up appointment. Regardless of treatment needed I will continue to Fight Like a Girl throughout this journey.

Rachel Grenier
Sabattus, ME

My Husband Saved My Life

August 2014 my husband found a lump on my right breast. I thought he was he was messing with me and paid no attention to it. I honestly didn't think about it until a couple of days later when I felt the lump for myself. The doctor thought it was an inflammatory infection due to my menstrual cycle and gave me antibiotics. I left and went on with my life, however, those antibiotics didn't help. The lump never went away. I went back, never thinking it could be Cancer. I was only 32, with no family history. No way it was cancer

. I had an ultrasound, followed by a painful biopsy and a mammogram. Then on September 22, 2014 I received the call that literally stopped everything. As I sat at my desk, at work, I was told that my biopsy came back positive. Positive......

I remember asking "positive for what?" still not truly grasping the idea of cancer. But when I heard "positive for cancer" I lost it..I kept saying "but I'm only 32.... what now?" I just didn't know what to do.

The days following, I was in disbelief. I was waiting for someone to say that they made a mistake, but that day never came. After MRI's and PET scans and meetings with surgeons I decided that I never wanted to deal with this again. Cancer was controlling every part of my life and I hated that. I made a difficult decision but I wanted to take control back of my life, and on November 12, 2014, I went in for a double mastectomy. I was diagnosed Stage 1A. Which I strongly feel was because of my husband. He saved my life. God only knows how long I would have gone without noticing it.

It's been about a month since my surgery and I will start 4 rounds of chemo soon, followed by 5-6 weeks of radiation. I'm scared but I've gone this far.... I'm going to fight with everything I have. I'm going through this for a reason... I guess someday I'll find out why.

Las Vegas, NV

Survivor again

I never thought my life would change so drastically, when, after a surgical biopsy found a malignant tumor in my right breast in September 2013. I'll say upfront that I am single and pretty much on my own in life. But my dad and mother are still going strong and I couldn't have done treatment without them. The tumor was small and at first only radiation was suggested. The crux of my story is that I was born breech with the cord asfixiating me and that accident left me with the ambiguously named condition, cerebral palsy. Medically, it is called anoxia. My Onca score for recurrence was very high. Chemo was set up. Because of the anoxia and the way it affects my muscles, I have some strong pain medications. After my first chemo infusion I had many of the rough side effects. But the worst was having my strength totally zapped, to the point I was crawling and couldn't prepare food or really run my house. My dad and mother kindly let me stay with them. One evening I could barely talk or breathe so I needed the ER. Chemotherapy was stopped. I began radiation in March of 2014 and drove myself to and from, every day, 22 miles round trip. About 4 days after my last radiation, and I was very happy, I noticed I was very fatigued. I researchied it and I found that fatigue was typical. PT was hard work, especially in the beginning but it took about 6- 7 weeks and I was even strong enough to begin going to our Gym to work. It is hard alone and it is hard with both anoxia/cerebral palsy.. I am grateful to so many who, like a 'village', helped out in different ways. It scares me some that at 52 I am still alone/single but even wth my cerebral palsy can still run my own house and work, though I work less. I take pleasure in every day, try new things and always try to seize the day. I feel like a 2 time survivor.

Shippensburg, PA

Cancer will not win

After losing my sister to breast cancer last year, and our mother 6 years prior, after much delay and feet dragging, I decided to get tested for the BRCA cancer mutation genes. While I was sure at least one of the genes would come back positive, when the doctor told me I was positive for the BRCA1 gene, I was heart-broken. When the doctor tells you that you have an 87% chance of getting breast cancer, your world turns up-side-down. But my doctor also told me that I didn't need to live in fear of cancer. After all, my sister left behind a daughter, and I refused to do the same. Though I didn't want to make these "grown up" decisions at 33, I needed to take control of my health.

Since the ovaries produce estrogen, which is linked to breast cancer, we also did a full hysterectomy in August of 2014. I felt better than I had in years! It was like my hormones were so out of balance with the uterus, that now, with it out, I was me again! (results may vary)

We also decided to do a bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction. Since I have Muscular Dystrophy, we did not do the hysterectomy and boobs at the same time. I had my "boob work" done on Thursday; but not before any self-respecting woman would change their photoshopped Facebook picture. And while it has taken me several days to feel human again, the outpouring of support from women who have made the same choices is overwhelming. I am so thankful for the women who are willing to share their experiences to make the choices of others so much easier.

I know that I did what was best for me, and that cancer will not win!!!

Kristin Evans
Dickinson, ND

Love Beats Cancer

On February 14, 2014, I welcomed my fiancé and future stepson on their journey from England to their new home with me. The visa process took 1.5 years so we were so happy to be able to get on with our lives together as a family. I took the following week off from work so we could get settled in properly.

My six month mammogram and ultra sound was scheduled for that week also, so I would not have to take any additional time off from work. I was on a six month schedule because I had many complex cysts and my surgeon and I decided to watch in case anything turned cancerous. After several all clear screenings and biopsies, my luck had run out. I was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer.

My wedding was scheduled for April 5 and my surgeon wanted to start treatment immediately. I was shocked as this was supposed to be the happiest time. I had a double mastectomy on March 13 and the thought of our wedding, which I refused to postpone, pulled me through. Nothing would stop us . My wedding dress had to be altered and thanks to the wonderful seamstress, I felt like a princess though I no longer had my breasts.

The Monday after our wedding, I had my cath put in and in a few weeks time I started 4 rounds of A/C followed by 12 rounds of taxol. I lost my hair but did not lose my fight. I continued to work 20 hours a week. I refused to let cancer control my life. September 2 marked the end of chemo and at the end of September began 35 radiation treatments. I am blessed to be surrounded by my family, friends and co-workers who kept me strong. I feel at the end of the treatment journey, I am stronger, more full of life than I have ever experienced. I know how important love of life is in defeating this disease and no matter how much a cancer diagnosis gets you down, it is beatable. Life is good.

Sue Turner
Exeter, PA

Breast Cancer.

I noticed sometimes in the fall of 2013 an unusual soft and tender area under my right arm. On January 8th visited the Emergency room and was admitted with a sepsis infection under my right arm. That area was biopsied while in the hospital and only the sepsis was found. On May 7th 2014 went back to the Doctor with the same area tender and sore. Was taken to the Operating room on May 20th 2014 and that was when I received the diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Began Chemotherapy starting July 14th, 2014 every three weeks with the last one October 27th. October the 18th had a modified radical mastectomy with lymph nodes removed and a reduction done on the left. Throughout this entire experience thus far my Family and friends have stood by my side attending appointments and sitting with me during that 3 hour chemo infusion. My journey still continues for I will begin 30 days on radiation soon. Never give up hope or yourself, be strong.

sherri kniss
decatur, MI

I've Got Good News and Not So Good News ...

I think the day we are told that we have breast cancer is probably the day that stands out to all of us. It's a day that I will always remember -- July 9, 2014. After numerous mammograms, sonograms and finally two biopsies all within a few weeks I got my diagnosis. I didn't think of anything other than getting myself cancer free. When I saw my surgeon for the first time she told me she wanted me to have an MRI before surgery. The MRI turned up that I did have cancer in my right breast and another mass in my left breast. So once again I had to have a biopsy which was done the week of my surgery. So, the morning of my surgery is when I would find out if I had to have surgery on both breasts or only my right. Lucky for me it was only my right -- the left had a benign mass that will have to be watched.

At 43 years old I never thought I would be told I had breast cancer. I never understood the meaning of "warrior" until I was diagnosed. I just went into warrior mode (which is fully understood now) ... the test, biopsies, surgery, recovery, radiation -- it's something I never want to face again but if I have to, I know I can. In all reality though, I'm not too sure if I could deal with all of this again.

Today I find that I laugh a lot easier, I enjoy life more and all those little things that made me crazy before really don't bother me at all. I often wonder if this happened to me to make me realize that I'm so much stronger than I thought I was. I believe that I can do anything now -- if difficult things happen to me now, I just reflect back on what I've been through and laugh because nothing can make me believe that I'm not a WARRIOR and there's nothing better than a WOMAN WARRIOR !!!!

Lynn Biviano
Brooklyn, NY
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