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My Breast Cancer

Hi my name is Leslie in 2012 Dec. I went for my mammogram and in July 2013 I felt a lump on my left breast I call my doctor to make appt she made appt for a mamammogram on july 15 and a biopsy on the 26 and August 5 I had appt with a cancer doctor that is when I was told I have breast cancer I was 50 yrs old I said ok what is are plan on the 29 I had a bone scan and cat scan October 23 I had mastectomy on January 9 2014I started chemo for 4 months then I started radiation on may 12 I started herceptin July 10 and still doing it for a full year I'm doing good.

Leslie Bierschwal
Cleveland, OH

4 year Breast cancer survivor!

This is my 4th year as a breast cancer survivor. My dad past away May 17, 2010. After being told he ad lung cancer October 2009. October 4, 2010 I had a mammogram done. Later that week my family doctor called and told me that there was a spot on my test. I set up a visit with my surgeon. He let me know that there was indeed a spot on my right breast. 10 years before that I had one and in was not cancer. This time when he got the results back it was positive. I had noninvasive breast cancer. Because my breast were so large he said it was better if he did bilateral mastectomies. On November 4, 2010 I went into the hospital and had both breast removed. As well as one of my lympnodes removed. Later I went to a cancer doctor to see if I needed any other treatments. The cancer doctor told me that I would not have to take treatments or pills. That I was cancer free. There is a 99% chance that the cancer will never come back.

Anonymous
Piedmont, AL

20 years and counting

I was diagnosed in May, 1994. Had a mastectomy and 6 rounds of chemo, ending just after Thanksgiving. Last week I had my yearly visit with the Oncologist and I am still cancer free. I had wonderful, caring doctors and, the single MOST important person: my wonderful loving husband. He repeatedly assured me that a wife with only one breast was never a problem. His hardest challenge was when I lost all my hair, but he took me to buy THREE beautiful wigs, which buoyed both our spirits. I love that man.

Charlene Roberson
Weatherford, TX

CAR DOOR saves me.

Its May. Buying flower trays to plant a beautiful spring garden. New Growth, ample sun, seeds sprouting. Sounds like a great new beginning starting. Yes, that's how I always look at it.

Messy garage as I fumble with taking out flower trays in my little space. In doing so I knock myself hard into the door. Ouch...Kept going and got it all out. Enough work today. I will shower. My right breast really took the brunt of the corner of the door and I access the damage noticing some pain, bruising, but a hardened area. Wow that was a hard hit. It's so like me to injure myself but keep going. I know the gum ball size ball is there but keep it in the back of my mind. It will heal.

June comes along and time for my GYN appointment. We go through everything and she says, "ALL OK" . Wait.. there was that lump. She feels it and immediately makes an appt for an ultrasound. They immediately make an appointment for a biopsy. Wow. But it was the car door. Dr does the fine needle aspiration and talks about if it's dried blood from the injury he will easily be able to tell. He does his procedure and I am telling him how I am going to Ireland at the end of July. He says 3 days for results. Why is that necessary with dried blood.

3 days later I am attending a dinner party when he calls. Wants me at his office right away? Can't it wait? No, I want you to come in now. Its cancer.

The rest? Determination, positive thinking, great team = key. Went on my trip to Ireland and 15 yrs later planning another. Without that car door? Who knows?

Anonymous
betlehem, PA

KNOW YOUR BODY

In early January 14 after a rigorous upper body workout at the gym my arms and chest were very sore, As I was rubbing them, I felt hard spot, at the top of my bra line on my right breast. I was scheduled the next week for my annual mammogram, so waited on it. The tech went over my paperwork and we discussed the spot, she did the mammogram which was NORMAL, she then ask if she could feel the spot. She then sent me for an ultra sound. The radiologist came did the ultrasound and felt the lump, then they told me it was a fybroid cyst, and to have it rechecked it 6 months. The next week I went to my Gyn. After checking me he too said its nothing. I had this feeling, I said please recommend a surgeon for a biopsy.

Surgeon says its nothing but scheduled the biopsy to put my mind at ease. After the biopsy, he came out and told my husband the Initial test show just a hard fatty cyst, but we are sending it to path anyway. After 2 days,the phone call came. I was told I had DCIS and would need a lumpectomy, and then radiation. Went in for lumpectomy on February 18, where they found a 6mm and a 2mm tumor that was IDC, did a partial mastectomy and removed 5 lymph nodes (all negative). I was then told it was triple negative and I would need Chemo and Radiation. By March 20, I had my first chemo. I ended up having 4 cycles of adriamycin/cytoxan and then only had 1 cycle of taxol. My body couldn't take anymore, after fluids twice, 2 units of blood and the loss of 15 lbs, the doctors and I decided enough it was doing me more harm than good. After a 6 week break I then had 34 radiation treatments.

The picture was taken after completing radiation.If you think something is not right, push until you find out for sure. If I had waited my prognosis would not be so good.

Rachel D Lindsey
GROVE HILL, AL

Beautifully Blessed

This is my mom, Penny, beautiful as she is you would never think shes been sick her whole life. At just 15 she was diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma.She was one of Mary Bird Perkins first patients.This was in 79 i believe.Then again in 1998 she found out she had Thyroid cancer.She had them removed,and i can remember her staples in her neck and how me nor my older brother could even see her due to the mega dose of radiation she had to have.Years later, in 2008, she had a bleed on her brain.Was in sicu for two weeks then,had to give up her job as manager of four years,a job she loved dearly.Shortly after in 2010,had to have heart surgery,a valve replacement.Only to find out open heart wasnt an option due to her heart being calcified. So they had to go in through her groin and change her aortic valve.Now,in 2014,we are preparing for a double mastectomy November 5.This woman is a true survivor.Never losing faith in the Lord,always believing in his will.My mom is my hero.After all shes been through shes still manages to stay beautiful on the inside,never bitter,always with kind words. I envy her strength and determination because i personally would have been given up.

I just wanted to share her story and hopefully inspire someone in a similar situation,not to give up.To keep on pushing and always believe.

My mom is my best friend, and my other half.My world would be turned around in an indescribable way if something was to go wrong. i ask please that you all would keep her in your prayers as she goes in on the 5th. Thank you!

Kirsten Landry
Fordoche, LA

my story

My story started after my Mother died in 2008. She had breast cáncer. I asked my doctor if I could have a mammogram just for my own piece of mind,I was 42yrs old. The mammogram showed up micro calcification in the left breast. I was shocked. Until January of this year I was continuing to have checks every 6 months - 1 yr. In January my right breast was very dense, and after repeating the mammogram in June I was sent for a biopsy. On 17th July I was told I had breast cáncer. I had a breast MRI and it was confirmed I had a large tumour in the milk duct. measuring 8.5cm x 4cm, I was stage 1 grade 3,HER 2 positive and hormone receptor negative. On the 3rd October they tested my lymph nodes and thankfully they came back negative. I had a mastectomy saving my skin but not the nipple and a próstesis put in straight away. 4 weeks later I am fine,I will get my pathology results hopefully this week but the doctors think that I will not need any further treatment. I am so grateful to all my doctors for the care they have given me the past few years without checking the tiny problem I originally had and which has never changed,they wouldnt have spotted the other breast changing. I am all for awareness so I started a FB page and I explain things happening incase someone reads it and they think they have a problem. Yes its a little uncomfortable some of the things we have to go through,but we get through them. I couldnt do this without my family and Friends especially my husband Trevor,who only had brain surgery in March this year which thankfully he is recovering from well. Some people prefer not to talk about cáncer but for me I think it is a huge help when others know what you are going through.

Nancy Lauren Fryatt Tew
Menorca, Spain

You just have to keep moving forward

I am a 7 year survivor having been diagnosed in April 2007 at age 53. It was right breast stage II, node negative and I was also estrogen receptive and HER2+. I had a lumpectomy and then had 8 rounds of chemo (adriamicin, cytoxin and taxol), 33 radiation treatments, targeted treatment (herceptin) and 5 years of hormone blocking treatment (arimidex).All those side-effect that you can have, I had almost all of them. A year after the lumpectomy, I went into CHF and was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy directly connected to the chemo and wasn't able to complete the IV treatments of herceptin (completing just 8 of 12 months). It's rare but it happens. It took a year for there to be significant improvement to my heart function and then for reasons unknown I lost half of what I had gained toward reaching a more normal number. It is considered moderate damage and permanent.

You know they don't tell you that you won't be going back to your "normal" self after treatment is complete. You find that out by yourself. They don't tell you how abandoned you'll feel when the treatments and the constant testing is over and you only see a doctor every 6 months to a year. You just learn to adjust and to take a deep breath and go with it. It's what you do if you still want to be here. You just have to keep moving forward, so you can be alive with the people you love.

I've had so much support from family and friends but most especially from my husband Eddy. From the day of the biopsy, to the diagnosis, surgery, chemo, testing...he was just always there at my side. He took me to dinner after chemo treatments because it was the day I felt best. He gave me the neupogen shots and was my shoulder to cry on when I had no strength to do anything else. He shaved my head. I wouldn't be here without him and I am blessed and cancer-free and here. Bless you all in your journey as well.

Paula Owensby
Kissimmee, FL

left worn out after being a carer for 2yrs

my husband was diagnosed with myloma in 2010,health went from bad to worse in late 2011he was loseing weight,and having blood transfusions every week i did all i could for him but he passed away in oct 2012,i decided to move because of all the memories 4,000 klms to be with my daughter,i was feeling pretty low and decided to by myself some new under wear ,on seeing my self in the mirror in the change room ,i could see dimpling around my breast went to doctor ,sent for biopsy,had 5 cor biopsy my god they hurt, 4 days later results were back now i had breast cancer,had a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation ,all is looking good now,thank god for the wonderful treatment they can do tday

jennifer usher
port macquarie, Australia

Coming out swinging!

I am a 44 yr old mother of 3 beautiful kids ages 25, 22, and 8 1/2 and I was DX with Stage IIA Grade III IDC on August 25th 2014. Things have been a whirlwind since! I opted for bilateral mastectomies and had my surgery done on September 10th 2014. I chose my route for my own peace of mind and for symmetry upon reconstruction, which I opted to delay. I am fortunate that no lymph nodes were involved! Initially my pathology report came back stating that I was HER2- and HR+ with Estrogen at 30% and Progesterone at 10% but when my Oncatype DX results came back it actually showed my Estrogen 6.6% (baseline is 6.5%) and Progesterone as negative, which makes me newly DX as Triple Negative with a 67% chance of recurrence.

I had a Port-A-Cath placed on October 15th and pretty much my only treatment option is aggressive chemo, which I started on Friday, October 24th. I am scheduled to do 4 rounds of bi-monthly Dose Dense AC (Adriamycin- otherwise known as "The Red Devil" - and Cytoxan) followed by 12 weekly doses of Taxol. 5 months total, and once I am done I will persue my reconstruction using expanders followed by implants under my pec muscles :)

So far, so good!! I am optimistic and have chosen to come out swinging and kick some @$$!! I am very blessed to have an awesome support team consisiting of my wonderful husband of 26 years, our children, our extended family and our amazing network of friends! I will do a followup story once I am finished with this battle. God Bless all of my Warrior Sisters on each of your journeys <3

Davon H.
La Pine, OR
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