Don't be afraid or Thanks to my 'sisters'!

In April 2008 , I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. My first reaction was tears and fears. Cancer is a nasty word, it is synonymous with all that is evil and out of control, that did not help my attitude any so I decided to refer to my cancer as crap. That I can handle! Thankfully, I was blessed with a wonderful team of medical experts who were instrumental in changing my attitude from one of fear to one of knowledge and empowerment to beat this crap. I had a lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. The thought of chemotherapy had me scared witless, but you know what? It was not very bad. Chemotherapy has changed from what I remembered my father went through in 1980. Yes, I lost my hair, food tasted like cardboard and I had no energy but I did not get sick once! I want to thank everyone who works in the medical industry to improve the care for cancer patients. I want to thank each survivor who went before me to give me courage; you are the sisters I always longed for when I was growing up. It surprised me that there were so many because they had been so quiet about their survivorship. Many survivors do not want to make a big deal out of their survival, but we need to be vocal, we need to celebrate life and show just how much breast cancer affects our lives.
Lynn Carlson
Des Moines, IA