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In April 2001, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer. I was 48 and recently divorced. For six months surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy followed.
The next few years were stressful every time I had tests and checkups. But, I felt incredibly blessed to have conquered this beast. To celebrate my 5 year mark in 2006, I walked in the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk in Kansas City and 2007, the Avon 2 Day Walk in San Francisco. When friends asked why -- since my cancer was rectal, my response would be "I can't imagine there ever being a walk for our rectums, so I'll do what I can. When they find a cure for one,the rest will be close behind."
Fast forward to April 2007. I had remarried the prior year. My husband noticed a discharge from his nipple. To our surprise, he was diagnosed with male breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. Fortunately, the tumor was small with no lymph node involvement. In December, I went in for my routine mammogram. I remember vividly my colorectal doctor saying "Keep up to date on your mammograms." But, I was still shocked when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 9 months after my husband. Same breast, same size tumor, and thankfully, no lymph node involvement.
I am proud to say that my husband walked the Race for the Cure with me this year. He wore his pink survivor shirt and said to me " I need to do this because men need to know that it can happen to them." I'd like to think that he might do the 3 Day or Avon walk with me someday. But, I am satisfied that he can now talk about it without embarrassment and that he wants to educate other men.
You can purchase 100 Inspiring Stories From The Breast Cancer Site for your Kindle. Makes a great gift too!
Your click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button helps fund free mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited. Your click is paid for by site sponsors, and mammogram funding is provided to clinics throughout the U.S. through grants distributed by GreaterGood.org. With a simple, daily click of the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Breast Cancer Site, visitors help to provide free mammograms for women in need. Visitors pay nothing. In addition to clicking the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button, visitors can help more by shopping in The Breast Cancer Site store. With each item purchased, shoppers generate funds that provide free mammograms for women in need.