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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

That which does not kill you......

I am a 43, widowed with 3 boys.. I've always gone in for regular check ups, but twice now I have had cancer, and twice they have failed me. I have read some of the stories on here and it is amazing what the doctors miss! I had st 3 cervical cancer 3 yrs ago, went through radiation and chemo. I am still fighting side effects from that. Last Aug I had a mammogram and ultrasound done on a lump I had found in my left breast 6 years ago. It was cancer, even though for years they had said it was fibrocystic breast disease and breast cancer didn't hurt! This time, I had the surgery, chemo and am getting reconstruction lined up. I have vowed to be a voice in all of this. You can't go by what the doctor tells you. You know your body better than anyone. You have the right, and the obligation to your family and yourself, to speak up until you are heard. Don't take no for an answer. If you don't like what you hear, there are plenty of doctors out there willing to listen. No one will stand up for you if you don't stand yourself. Life is too precious to throw away on someone elses opinion. Things like needle biopsies, MRI, PET scans, all of these are fantastic diagnostic tools that are out there. Don't ever just sit back and say, oh, the doc says its ok when they only do a pap or a mammogram or ultrasound. Insist, loudly if you have to, that more testing be done!

I will beat this again. I am strong. I have my faith. I have my family. And I will never sit silently in a doctors office again!

Laurie
Jackson, MI

Mammograms aren't always enough!

I don't mean to put a damper on the whole mammogram thing, but I want women to be aware that mammograms are not always enough. I had a "clean" mammogram May 31, 2007. On June 9,(9 days later), I ran the Casper, Wyoming marathon. The next day I am sitting in my office, feeling myself up, thinking "Everything hurts, even the boobs."....which they didn't actually, but the pectoralis muscle did. I felt a tiny lump the size of a green pea. We "watched" it for several months, and it did not go away, thankfully, as it turned out. When Huntsman Cancer Institute did their own computer enhanced mammogram, they couldn't see "anything"...NOT as in "no cancer", but as in "diddly squat" because I have such dense breasts. I got an ultrasound and MRI which revealed that THAT lump was nothing, but beneath it was a mass that had been growing for 5 or 6 years and had already spread to 10 lymph nodes! Stage 3C cancer...even WITH a mammogram every year for the past 20 years. If your breasts are dense, you need MRIs, NOT mammograms, especially if there is a history of breast cancer in your family. Mammograms are not the holy grail in breast cancer diagnosis. I'm sure not impressed with them! So far, I've had 5 surgeries, 16 weeks of chemo, 7.5 weeks of radiation, and I still have less than a 13% chance of surviving another 10 years. No thanks to mammograms. Ask, no cross-examine, your doctor to make sure you are getting the diagnostic tests you really need!

Sandy Mitchell
Rock Springs, WY

I have survived stage 4 Breast Cancer

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 41. A year later I found out my

doctor never read the report from the frozen specimen taken during

surgery. By then I was stage 4. I had a bone marrow transplant which has kept the cancer away for 15 years now.

Thanks to all the doctors, nurses, and staff at Duke University Medical Center I am living a happy, healthy, cancer free life.

Yes, sometimes even the worst cancer can be cured. Lois W.

Lois White
Hernando, FL

MY BATTLE WITH BREAST CANCER

Hi my name is Chasity Medo. I'm 29 yrs old, been married for 8yrs and a mother of three beautiful boys. In October of 2008 was told I had stage 2 breast cancer...after just giving birth to my 3rd son in July of 2008..it's been a rough road for me and my family. Me trying to juggle having a new born and trying to deal with my illness has been a real challenge. I had lumpectomy in Nov, 08 then was told 2 of my lymph nodes were infected, and I'd have to do chemo and radiation. Hearing the word "chemo" scared me more then anything, having three children. I thought, "Oh my God, my babies, I can't be sick, they need me - especially my newest one!" It was so hard to accept I'm too young my life is just beginning and all the sudden it felt like it was ending. I knew if I wanted to be there for my boys I needed to do what I had to so I could see them grow into men. I started my first chemo in Jan,09. It was the scariest day of my life. The hardest part for my boys was losing my hair - my middle son loved to sit with me on the couch and play with my hair. I continue to work while am fighting cancer, it hasn't been easy, but I just had my last chemo on April 23rd and what a relief! Now it's off to start my radiation, almost there. I continue to look to God and my family to give the strength to keep my head up and keep going - its a long battle to fight but I will not let this cancer fight me, I will fight it.

CHASITY
CHICAGO, IL

Another Speed Bump

I had cancer in my tonsils at age 22. My kidneys quit working when I was 36. Now, at the age of 50, I'm in the process of beating breast cancer. What in the world could give one ordinary woman so much to deal with? My theory is that the toxins in my surroundings while I was a kid growing up in the Lake Erie water shed were way too much for my body to handle. It does me no good to be angry about it now. But it does make me want to reach out and tell the world that we can not keep polluting our environment and expect that there will be no consequences. I and the thousands of women facing frightening treatments and uncertain outcomes are the consequences.

Protect your sisters, your daughters, yourselves. Be conscious of your own actions and the practices of the businesses you work at and patronize. Look at the ways they play a part in improving or destroying the world around us and make your voice heard if they are endangering our children's future. We have to take care of each other.

Like Terri Garr observes in her book "Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood," when we hit a speedbump - when things get difficult - it forces us to slow down, be careful - mindful of our needs and of what is happening to our selves and those we love. And then we get over the speedbump, we keep on going, hopefully smarter, happier, and in a way that contributes to easing the suffering.

Slow down, be curious, make your needs known, and take good care of the Earth and those around you and they will take good care of you.

Anonymous
San Clemente, CA

Young Survivor

I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in December 2007 at age 34. I found a lump in my right breast during a monthly self breast exam. The surgeon told me that it was "probably nothing", but that we should remove it anyway so that when I had my first mammogram (at 40), everyone wouldn't "freak out."

I will never forget hearing the words, "you have breast cancer." The first thing I thought was, "I'm going to die and leave my kids without a mother." I was never so scared in my life.

Everything happened very quickly after my diagnoses. An MRI and follow up biopsy showed a seperate and different cancer in my left breast. within a few months, I had 8 rounds of chemo, a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, and a total hysterectomy. My family and friends were amazingly supportive. They arranged to bring dinners to my house, watch my kids, and keep me company during my chemo treatments. My daughter was too young to know what was going on, but my 4 year old son was not. I remember one particular time, after chemo, I was throwing up. He asked if I was ok, and I said, "Mommy's fine- I'm sorry, I don't want you to be upset." He proceeded to rub my back and tell me that I had nothing to be sorry for. I was in shock that such a young child could show so much compassion.

Life is full of learning experiences, and I've learned so much during my journey. I've learned not to sweat the small stuff (it doesn't matter), make memories every day (don't wait for an occasion), and never take the promise of time for granted.

Rachel Slosberg
Limerick, PA
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