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Whew! Cancer, Cure and Angels

Early in October I listened as my surgeon delivered the news to me. Cancer. Small. Stage 1. Lumpectomy and Radiation. No chemo. "We're not just looking at treatment, but Cure." All I zoned into was Cure, with a Capital C.

Start praying! Fortunately my Radiation Specialist clearly described options for radiation and with research before surgery, I was prepared to make the choice for brachytherapy with the Mammosite System. Finding no additional cancer in the sentinel node, my surgeon prepared the site for the Mammosite catheter at the same time.

The first week of October, cancer diagnosis delivered.

On Halloween, lumpectomy and sentinel node dissection.

On November 26th, the final radiation treatment. I spent the next day enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with friends, and I surely had a lot to be thankful for. Whew!

I was very lucky and never felt sick. Wasn't sure if I was really tired or enjoying being home and a little lazy.

My story isn't typical, but it can be. With a yearly mammogram allowed on my health care plan, I take advantage of it. No excuses! Absolutely follow up on any change since last year. Early detection led to what I believe is my Cure. And nothing can compare to having all of the Doctors and Facilities working together to my goal of Cure.

I know I had angels walking with me. God put one in the hospital hallways as I went to a biopsy alone. And He put one in the doctor's office when I needed someone to learn to dress my catheter and a friend said "I'll be there for you" then saw my left breast ten minutes later. I know my sister-in-law is my angel who flew 800 miles so I wouldn't go through surgery alone. Oh, those angels are everywhere!

Ellen Edwartoski
Lincoln, RI

Self-exams important

Three months after being told my mammogram was fine, I found a lump doing a breast self-examination.

I tried to ignore it, but when "Breast Cancer Awareness" month came that year I made the appointment, and ultimately found out I had a very aggressive type of cancer.

That was in 2000 and I'm happy to report that between surgery, radiation and chemo I am cancer free.

Those four words became my mantra and I still repeat them whenever fear hits.

So please do your exams, if you find something get it checked out and if you do get diagnosed, think positive.

And pray for a cure!

Anonymous
Battle Creek, MI

My Mom, My Best Friend

My mom lost my dad in 1999, a sister in 2000. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2001. She had to have a radical. Six months later in November of 2001 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I took care of my mom when she had surgery and she took care of me when I had mine. She is a speical mom, not only to me but to a lot of other people. I nominated my mom for a Remarkable Mom on Channel 13 TV and she was selected as the Mom of the Month for April. The TV crew came out and taped she and I and it was on television. My mom is, always has been and will always be my best friend.

Patsy pear
Milledgeville, GA

A Complete Surprise....

In October of 2008, I was at the doctor for my annual pap exam and the doctor asked about family history of breast cancer. My maternal Aunt was diagnosed at 36, but after an up and down battle with breast cancer, she pasted away at 42. Due to the story, my doctor decided to order a mammogram for a base line since I was 36, but things should be fine. A week later, I had the digital mammogram and thought all was well. Three days later, a nurse called to have me come back for more images. I would have a digital diagnostic mammogram and stay for immediate results from the doctor. After 10 minutes, the doctor called me to another room to inform me that they have decided to send me for a biopsy. The two radiologist saw some calcifications which are suggestive of breast cancer. I was shocked. My life had changed in just 10 minutes.

My first sterotactic biopsy was done and in a week it was confirmed, I had stage 0 Breast cancer. Really good prognosis, but still breast cancer - I was still in shock, but keeping it together. Further testing showed possibly more cancer, another biopsy, but luckily, that was benign. I would only need a lumpectomy followed by 5 weeks of radiation.

I have thanked my doctor sincerely for taking the time to listen and ordering that mammogram. Had I waited until I was 40 years old to have that done, the doctors said that my prognosis would have been worse.

I think of my Aunt, her courage and strength, to have gone through so much, but I know that she helped me today.

Angie DeBoo
Wheaton, IL

So Young To Be Taken So Soon

I have a close friend at work who lost his daughter to breast cancer. She had just recently married and was making plans to start her new life when she recieved the terrible news that she had cancer.

Her family, friends, and especially her father, were devastated, and all were left wondering how this could happen to someone so young and vibrant. She was just beginning her new life as a wife with the hope in her heart of becoming a mom, but this was not hand she had been dealt. Shannon would have been a wonderful mother. She fought a valiant fight but unfortunately, one that was lost.

She was the apple of her father's eye and he (as well as everyone else) was left wondering . . . why? There were no answers, only that God seemed to have another plan for his little girl, Shannon. What could that plan possibly be? We may never know, but we can try to find some solace in knowing that God took this very young woman because she was part of a much bigger plan.

Shannon touched many lives in her far too short life. I know that she was an inspiration to many. Her smile could light up a room. She amazed us all with her inner strength.

Because of Shannon, I hope that others will realize just how important mammograms really are and that early detection is so very important. Shannon, without a doubt, has left her imprint here with us, and maybe because of this, she will help to save many, many lives.

I can't help but wonder if this was part of his bigger plan.

Marcia
Littleton, NH

Surviving breast cancer

Hi, I am Mary Anne Cook,

On September 16 of 2003 I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast. I had a left mastectomy on the 29 of September 2003 and have survived. Thank God I had my yearly mammogram and it was caught early. The support from my 3 daughters, Granddaughters, Sister, Aunt and nieces has helped me greatly.

I encourage everyone to get that mammogram. It could save your life. I survived, my sister in law didn't. Remember no one has to die from breast cancer it is Curable.

My sister in law died from breast cancer in June 2000. She left behind 5 children the youngest being 13 years old, and 3 grandchildren. She has 5 more grandchildren born after her death. They will never know their grandmother. She didn't have to die from breast cancer. If she had just had the surgery when they found it she might still be alive today enjoying all 8 of her grandchildren.

Don't delay, get that mammogram today or as soon as you can.

Mary Anne Cook
Frankfort, IN

My nina

my nina was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in december of 2008. The first thing i asked is why her? she had helped people so much my grandparents, my great grandmother and she was the only one who could keep her nieces and nephews diciplined. In november we were very close too losing her but my nina is a strong women and she wasnt going to let it get her down she was going to keep fighting. On the day before easter of this year we lost her. On the way up to her funeral i saw a rainbow.The brightest or biggest i have ever seen! Thats when i knew she was at peace she is better! :) One thing i know is that as soon as i can im getting a mammogram!

I love your nina!

Love Bri

Anonymous
Las Cruces, NM

my mom

My mom was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma in 06 right after my son's first birthday.After 6 grueling months of surgery, chemo, and radiation, she came through, with great results.We take each day at a time, and i am so grateful that she is still here with us.She was one of the lucky ones.

kristin
winnipeg, MB, Canada

My Mother, My Friend, My Hero, My Angel

I lost my mother to breast cancer on November 6, 2008 just 1 day after my daughter Ally was born. I miss my mom everyday I wish she was here. I know in my heart she is watching over us everyday

Sara
Maryville, TN

DCIS

I was diagnosed with DCIS, Ductal Carcanoma in Situ in 2008 the ONLY way it was found was with a mammogram, THE ONLY WAY There are no lumps or other symptoms.......... I had a lumpectomy and radiation treatment.....I am fine. MAMMOGRAMS SAVE LIVES!!! This could have become malignant over time.............

Sheila
Columbia, TN
Enchanted Forest Sleeveless Tunic
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