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After 7 years free...Round 2

My name is Sharon and I am a 7 yr survivor. In 2001 I ran the gauntlet including a stem cell transplant. I worked for a Dr who did not provide health care for his staff. He told me to take vit. E and that it was probably nothing! In 2 months the pea size lump grew to 9 cm's and invaded my lymph system resulting in modified radical with removal of 19 axillary lymph nodes, red devil chemo, radiation and a stem cell transplant! all because I missed a mammogram.. I was a few months late for my mammogram in 2008, I felt it more important to take care of wounded and sick family members. After 7 1/2 years its back!!! On May 18th 2009 I had my 2nd modified radical and am waiting to find out if i need chemo. God willing I will continue to be a survivor. The moral of this story is DONT PUT OFF MAMMOGRAMS!!!!! for any reason. Bless all my survivor sisters, fallen sisters and thier caregivers.

Sharon Kemerley
Oklahoma City, OK

You Don't Have To Be Old To Have Breast Cancer

I never thought it would happen to me, I was 37 with no family history of Breast Cancer.

I was lying in bed one night and discovered the lump in my breast. I put off going to the doctor because I thought well it may be a cyst that would just go away as quickly as it had appeared.

Worst thing I could have done was to wait, that would cost me....I should have gone when I first found the lump and not 3-4 months later.

I waited until I had my yearly checkup and I had to go the next day to have a mamogram and ultrasound....then I got the news that I needed to have surgery to remove tissue for to send to the lab, and that was set up within that week, then I got the news...It was breast cancer....I chose to have a lumpectomy and because I had waited and the tumor got the size it did I had to have chemo, If the tumor had only been smaller I would have not had to have chemo just the radiation and Herceptin treatments ...that will be 4 years ago this October.....I am a survivor ....I just want all women no matter their age to do self exams and go and check it out right away if they find even the smallest of bump, it could save you a lot....and your life....

Being Postitive and knowing that I was going to beat this, I believe is what helped me survive...Do your own research and learn as much as you can about the disease and know exactly what your doctors are talking about when they talk with you. Best wishes to everyone out there with this disease. Keep your head up and a smile on your face!

Cullman, AL

My Little Sister Sandie

My story begins in 1949 when my grandmother (Dad's Mom) was diagnosis with breast cancer. Two of her sisters had just died of breast cancer. Cancer was still at that time a word that was spoken in a whisper, not said out loud. She had a mass mastectomy in the spring but died on Christmas morning, my dad being 13 years old. We always knew that breast cancer ran in our family but were never worried about it as Breast Cancer doesn't come from the fathers side of the family or so that is what my doctor said in the 80's. NOT TRUE. This past Christmas 2008 my 39 year old sister the youngest of the 3 girls, 6 kids called to say she has breast cancer, her youngest child being 6 years old. Her doctor order her a BRAC Gene test to see if she carries the breast cancer gene. Well, she got the results back and she did. She has now had a double mastectomy and is doing chemo, the last treatment is this weekend June 17, 2009, Fathers day weekend and then she will have a hysterectomy in about 8 weeks due to her being a BRAC1 gene carrier. Everyone said that I need to have the BRAC test done I didn't want to do the test, I wasn't for sure if I was strong enough to handle the results if it came back positive. I did and found out that mine was negative. It was a bittersweet day telling my sister that I had tested negative when she had tested positive and was going thru all of this. She is the bravest person I know she has kept a positive attitude she has held her head up even with no hair on it. Love you Sandie!!!

Patti Larkin
York, SC

1st generation Cancer Survivor

I am 39 years old and was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in December of 2008. I grew up knowing that my grandmother, 2 great aunts, my uncle and several cousins had died of cancer. The ladies all had breast cancer and my uncle had pancreatic cancer. Little did I know that the BRCA-1 gene mutation ran in my family. I didnt even know about the gene mutation until I was diagnosed and the liason that I was dealing with asked if there was a history of cancer in my family. After telling her my story she suggested I get tested. I received my results and sure enough I had the mutation. I then had to make the hardest decision of my life...mastectomy or lumpectomy. I chose the radical mastectomy, thank goodness, the .6 cm tumor that was diagnosed was actually surrounded by lots of smaller tumors. The total of the tumors was 1.8 cm. I thank my OB/GYN for starting my mammograms at 35 not 40 because of my family history. If I had waited until 40 to start my mammograms, I might not be here....

I take my last Chemo treatment on Friday, June 19, 2009.

I am a 1st generation Survivor!!!

Sandie Anglin

Sandie Anglin
Edgemoor, SC

My Mom the Rock

I knew my mom was a strong woman, all of my 44 years. I had no idea how strong till she got cancer. I fell apart but she said "I will be fine don't get upset till I do." To tell the truth all 6 of us kids where in shock - how could our mom have cancer, what kind of joke is this? I was in shock being her oldest daughter. I had to go away from her and the situation for a whole day to just get myself together. I got back home and she and I talked about the procedure and all of the choices to be made. Chemotherapy and radiation, two words she had heard but never knew how or why, but now she does. My mom took the option to lose both breasts. No more bras for her. My mom is free at last and she is very happy. I am happy for her. Mom has been in complete remission for over a year and all of the tests are good and she is doing great. My mom is the best mom and she still keeps right on going, nothing can slow her down. This year she will be 70 but you couldn't tell it. I am very proud to be her daughter.

Kellie Balaoro
Garland, TX

Fighting till the end

My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer about 6 years ago. (Our Mother died at age 57 from breast cancer). She had a lumpectomy, 30 radiation treatments and was doing great for about 2 years. Then she had to have surgery for liver cancer (caused by her long-term bout with Hepatitis C). She got through that and then contracted Diabetes. She lost 30 pounds and changed her eating habits and was doing well. Through all of this she "kept on keeping on". Finally, last year in February she pased away due to a massive bacterial infection. Her immune system had been so compromised that she could no longer fight back and was gone in two weeks. She was only 71. During this period of time, she supported me in my battle with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. (I am in remission now). We must all support research for all types of Cancer, and someday we will overcome this terrible disease. Have your Mammograms yearly and "keep on keeping on".

Sally Pearce
Turlock, CA

1995 My Breast Cancer Experience

When the mobile mammogram unit came to my workplace, I didn't think too much about it, but decided to go ahead and do a mammogram that day. In a few days I was notified that there was a growth in the lower part of my left breast. It was cancer, so I went through chemo and than radiation. It wasn't too bad but it certainly wasn't pleasant.

It has been 13 years, and I count myself very lucky, I just had a mammogram and some nodules were seen, and I have to go in November for another mammogram, but I am hopeful, and try not to dwell on the thoughts of it back again.

Good luck to all of you.

Shirley Subin
Floyd, VA

Grateful for Free Mammograms

I have had a history of benign (thank fully) breast cysts. I had

one cyst needle aspirated with the possibility of having to

have a breast biopsy and possibly surgery to remove any suspicious

cells. That resulted in me having to have 2 mammograms per year

for 3 years. Thankfully when I was diagnosed with 12 benign cysts I was told by the radiologist ( who my breast surgeon referred my case to) said if I didn't have any pain , no cysts needed to be aspirated. Boy was I thankful as having one cyst needle aspriated was painful enough. Because of some life situations I was on COBRA

and couldn't afford to pay those costly premiums on the low income

I had on Social Security Disabiltiy. Thanks to a free clinic which

referred me to the Hope Project of the American Cancer Society

I was able to have a mammogram for free and I was symptom

free. So if you think that it reallly isn't worth clicking on this

site every day think about women, like me , who depend on your

charity so they can get free mammograms.

Deborah Frichette Kurecka
Lake Worth, FL

My mum's promise

My mum had breast cancer.

My whole life I had heard of women that suffered from it but I never really thought about it because these women were not my relatives or so.

Then the day came when my mother said that she found a lump in her breast. I didn't want to realize it and so I thought 'maybe it's nothing' but one day she came back from the doctor and it was clear that she had breast cancer.

The evening we sat together and talked. I was really afraid because I thought of the worst case, that she may die. I think she felt my fear and she said this sentence I won't forget for the rest of my life:

"I promise you 200% that I will not die from the cancer."

She said she knew because in church someone had read a verse from John 11,4 that she felt was made for her and it said that "this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

It meant so much to me because I knew that my mother would fight and that the Lord Jesus would help her. And she did. She had a chemo and then radiation therapy and she won the fight.

I am so thankful that she kept her promise and that the Lord Jesus also did!

Huekeswagen, Germany

32 years and counting!

In 1977 while doing a breast check on myself, I found a rather large lump. My doctor has advised me to look for abnormal puckering as well as external lumps. Two weeks later I had a modified radical mastectomy, spent two weeks in hospital (remember this was 32 years ago) and was sent home. No support group, no advice. Six weeks later I started chemotherapy (because the tumor was so large they said). What followed was the worst year of my life. But now, at the ripe young age of 72 I am still alive and active and volunteering my time for charities. I was fortunate to have wonderful support from my husband, my family and my friends and today I am enjoying watching my grandchildren grow up and become fine young people. There is indeed, life after breast cancer.

Noreeta Finn

Regina, Canada

Regina, SK, Canada
Mystic Rose Tunic
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