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Let's Be Cancer FREE

MY story . . . well, for starters I'm extremely bad at talking about me and all I've been through, but I've realized it's important to get the word out and well, so here I am . . .

I never know how or where to start - but here goes -

I've pretty much lived with cancer my entire life . . . by the time I was 8 I had lost my Best Friend to cancer then by the age of 12, my life was and has been forever changed - my Mother passed away at the age of 38 to a very long and arduous battle with cancer and my Father, well, being in the military, wanted more stability for me, and sent me to live with my Uncle and his family, and again so here I am . . . forward to present . . .

Thinking my nightmares were behind me - WRONG!

About 3 yrs ago - almost to the date - found out that both my Uncle and Aunt have both been diagnosed with cancer; my Uncle with terminal Prostate Cancer and my Aunt with 2nd stage Breast Cancer and found this news literally moments in finding out that one of my friends had just lost his fiancee to Adrenal Cancer.

Since this - ALL I have been doing is TRYing my best to raise awareness and funds for cancer . . . I've started my own fashion line where 25% of the proceeds goes towards cancer, I've also been written up a few times (pasted a link) - basically ALL I do - ALL I can do - I will do . . . so that we may ALL wake up with this nightmare behind us.

New York, NY

Early Detection

I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductile Carcinoma 12-2-02 over the phone at work. First, I had to sit down. Second, I had to get home. Third, I had to tell my family. Nothing can prepare you for this situation. The best results will be for each and every one of you to get your mammograms regularly and do self-exams. I was lucky. The lump was only .5 cm. Had a lumpectomy with radiation. I am still cancer free. If you have to be told that you have breast cancer, the best thing that can happen is that you have stayed on top of your wellness exams and catch it early. Let me say that again. CATCH IT EARLY.............

Becky Bauman
Fredonia, KS

Yearly mammograms save lives

Last August my annual mammogram showed a change so I was called back for an ultra sound, then a biopsy. The tumor was so small that the doctor could not feel it and the biopsy took most of it. The surgeon who did the biopsy told me that I had breast cancer and that his nurse would be in to schedule a complete mastectomy and removal of all lymph nodes. That sent me to my family doctor who referred me to another surgeon for a second opinion. As a result, after an MRI, I underwent a lumpectomy, removal of only 2 sentinal nodes and 5 days of Mammosite radiation, 2 treatments per day. I am taking Aromasin because the tumor was estrogen receptive but life is good and I am blessed that the tumor was found early.

Bruceton, TN

Early Detection saves lives

I was diagnosed in April of 2007 with DCIS in my right breast. When my surgeon did an exam of my left breast she found a lobular tumor which had invaded 3 lymph nodes. I had bilateral mastectomies, followed by chemo and radiation. The following year I had reconstruction surgery. Breast cancer runs in my family, my Mother was diagnosed in 2006, had a lumpectomy and radiation. Happily we are both healthy and encourage every woman to get annual mammograms. It can save your life.

Vicki Treul
New Berlin, WI

All Is Good

As I went for my yearly mamo I could tell from peoples faces things were not quite right. The Radiologist suggested we do an ultrasound since I missed my mamo the prior year. I was always faithful on them but for some reason I missed one year. After the ultrasound the Doctor informed me I had breast Cancer. I was like what? My worst fear came true. I was there alone and no words would come from my mouth. I sat in the car for quite a while before calling my husband. Telling the kids was really hard especially for the younger one.. Upon seeing the surgeon she informed me it was stage 3. After going thru the surgeries, chemo ,radiation, preventative medications and support groups, I feel good and am almost reaching the 5 year mark. All is good. God Bless to everyone!

Maryanne LeMaire
Vernon, NJ

30 with breast cancer, now 35 and 5 years cancer free!

at 30 i was diagnosed with breast cancer, very aggressive cancer. i had bi lateral mastectomies, 4 months of chemo and 2 months of radiation. i have had my reconstruction and i am now 5 years cancer free! it has been a long hard road but well worth the struggles. stay strong and positive!

lisa hanson
orlando, FL

Double Whammy Mammy

Eleven years ago, at 42, when I finally got a job with health insurance and my husband bugged me enough, I got a GYN checkup after TEN years! I had cervical cancer that had JUST become invasive and had a hysterectomy with no other treatment except HRT.What luck!

At the same time I got a baseline mammogram. ELEVEN months later another mammo and biopsy showed ductal and lobular carcinoma insitu on the left side. I opted for bilateral mastectomy because I was so afraid it would come back.

It had not become invasive, but the pathology report showed the same thing - salt and peppered (more than 20) on each side! I would have been back and I am sure the third time would not have been the charm for me! Instead, no other treatments.

Now, ten years cancer free, I get a breast MRI and pap every other year, just in case. An ounce of prevention IS worth a pound of cure!


Don't be stupid! Mammograms and paps are free for those who cannot afford it! In this day and age, there is no excuse for not getting a mammogram or pap.

Mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and all your men ~ remind each other that we love and need each other to be around! I know my three daughter, three grandaughters, three sisters, and three sisters-in-law will be reminded and don't forget to click here everyday!

No sugar coating here! "Git it done!!!" If not for yourself, do it for your family!

Lora DeSandre
Meriden, CT

Don't give up!

I started out with a family history of cancer that would scare anyone, but as all young people are, I was 'invincible'. At 20 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I was scared to death! All I could think was that I was going to die and leave my beautiful baby girl an orphan. Then I got mad! This was not going to beat me! At 24, during my third pregnancy, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. They wanted to terminate the pregnancy. NO WAY!!! I came through both of those trials, but not unchanged. At 29 I found a lump in my breast. Not cancer it was a fibro-cystic breast condition, but due to my past history I was given a bilateral mastectomy. The surgeon thought he was doing me a favor by leaving tissue the size of a half dollar under the nipples to prevent inverted nipples. At 35, I started finding lumps again. Guess what? Cancer! No one thinks that they are going to have a mastectomy done twice! But that's exactly what I had to do. This time they would remove every last shred of breast tissue. They also had to remove several involved nodes. I thought ok...yet again I slipped through OK, this is really starting to p*** me off! My surgeon made quite clear that were it not for the regular self exams that revealed the lumps very early on, this was probably the one that would have done me in. My advice? Keep checking yourself and do not miss your annual exams. I have three children and am due to have a second grandchild in October. What are the odds? Well sometimes you beat them all!

St. Charles, MO

20 years

Twenty years ago today (June 29) I had a mastectomy. I was 34 years old. My son was barely 4 and my daughter wasn't even 2. Surgery, chemo, radiation,lots of prayers and a lot of I am...healthy as ever. Please don't let anyone tell you to skip a self breast exam. PS. I prefer the term Victor as opposed to survivor.

Leslie Curtin
Harwich, MA

Don't skip the mammogram

In 2006 my parents moved to personal care in a nursing home. My brothers and I cleaned out and sold the house to pay for nursing home care. As my mother's dementia worsened, it took a toll on Dad. Mom died in August. Dad, who had broken a hip in a fall, was never the same and died just 6 days after she did. I thought 2006 had just about all it could hold, including my turning 60.

I skipped my annual doctor visit but kept my appointment for the annual mammogram, then got a call to come back for a second mammogram and ultrasound. I had breast cancer, luckily at Stage 1. After a lumpectomy and radiation, and the welcome support of the sisters, family and friends, life became a bit more normal. It's never a good idea to skip a doctor visit, but don't ever skip the mammogram.

Sr. Christa
Villa Hills, KY
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