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Counting My Blessings

I never imagined that December 15,2015 would be the beginning of My Pink Warrior Breast Cancer Journey . I had been my Mother's Care Giver for the last 7 years until She lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer on May 7 ,2012. I neglected my health until recently . I had a routine screening Mammogram on November 7 and it was abnormal . So next on December 3 had Diagnostic Mammogram then followed the ultrasound and then on December 10 had a biopsy of my right breast, the findings were cluster microcalcifications . On December 30th I had a Lumpectomy Surgery findings were that I have DCIS Stage 0 with clear margins and non invasive Cancer . I'm currently having Radiation treatments for 6 weeks then doing Hormonal Blockade Therapy . I will never regret caring for My Mother . But I'm Counting My Blessings that My Diagnosis is an Early Detection after waiting 7 years before having My Yearly Mammogram . I am 52 years old. I have an Amazing Strong Supportive Husband of 33 years to come along and walk this Journey with me. My Faith is very strong ! My verse is I can do All things through Christ who strengthens me . Philippians 4:13

Sheila Lanier
Sealy, TX

Breast Cancer was not in my family history

In July of 2015 I went for my annual mammogram as I did each year with no thought of anything unusual happening. I left that day and they called me back in for a repeat on my right breast followed by an ultrasound. In my mind, I didn't think twice, as this had happen before only to find I had a cyst. Not this time...they did the repeat scan and ultrasound, and said it was suspicious and sent me right to the hospital for a biopsy. They said they would call me the next morning with the result, and when the phone rang that following morning I heard the words that anyone would dread that it was cancer. All I could think of was, are you sure?? I don't have any cancer history in my family at all, I exercise, eat very healthy, breast fed..did all the things that I thought would keep me exempt from ever getting it. I was diagnosed with Estrogen positive Ductal Invasive Carcinoma breast cancer stage 2 grade 2 at the age of 55. On Sept 30th of 2015 I had a lumpectomy, followed by 4 rounds of Chemo, last on on Dec 31st 2015 and lastly 4 weeks of radiation therapy that I finished on March 1st 2016. I lost my hair but it is growing back, and my body is beginning to heal. I am proud to say I am in remission and cancer free and kicked cancers butt! Please ladies, don't assume you are exempt! Get your mammograms! Here's to putting this behind me, onward and upward!

Marlborough, MA

My Journey to the Other Side of Victory

My journey began on September 7, 2015 at around 4am. I was asleep and during a dream God lifted my left hand and laid it on my right breast. I then woke up and felt the lump. I did not have health insurance at the time so I called the Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP). BCCCP is a program that offers FREE mammograms, breast screenings, pap smears and follow-up testing to eligible uninsured women. They scheduled me an appointment the next day. This was the beginning of the process that also included an ultra sound, a more extensive mammogram and a biopsy.

On October 1, 2015, we received the results of my biopsy. The tumor was malignant. Stage 2B Breast Cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma. After several test and appointments, it was decided that I would need a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. We prayed about it and was at peace with the course of treatment. God showed me the end of this journey, which was VICTORY, but He did not show me the road I would have to travel to get there, that is where faith comes in. All I will say is “Use me Lord and let your Will be done”. So no matter what this journey has in store for me, I have faith that my God will see me through.

Detroit, MI

I am stronger cause I had to be.

A little over a year ago I got the devastating news that I had breast cancer. Invasive lobular carcinoma, stage II. Wow, it shocked my world. With no family history, being fit ,exercising and eating healthy, I found myself struggling to accept this news. I had so many questions which doctors couldn't answer, so I did what everyone else does, Started reading on internet and bombarded myself with too much information about breast cancer. The initial treatment was surgery and radiation,but because of one lymph node involvement chemo was suggested as well. They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle. I guess I could handle it. Here I was, 41 years old, a single mom, raising two kids all by myself and having to deal with cancer. I knew I was strong,but this was out of my hands. I was scared and worried about my future,but I couldn't let the kids see the fear in me. I made a decision to fight and not to let cancer take over my life.Luckily I was able to handle the treatments really good,I never got sick, worked the whole time and continued to be there for my kids. After 2 surgeries, 4 months of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation, here I am celebrating my first anniversary as cancer free, wishing and hoping for many more to come .One thing I learned from this experience,that life is so unpredictable and cancer doesn't discriminate,it affects young and old, rich and poor. So these days I choose not to live in fear,I enjoy life a little more and spend more time doing the things I love to do with my family. And to everyone that has cancer or knows someone battling cancer,I tell them to fight and never lose hope,giving up is not an option.Keep a positive attitude and surround yourself with positive people,it makes a big difference.

Aida Meta
Trinity, FL

Gracie's Story - a Success Story

Despite the fact that breast cancer has a better survival rate than many other forms of the disease, being diagnosed with it is utterly terrifying. There are no guarantees for what lies ahead in the short or long term, aside from the fact that it will be painful and difficult. "Gracie’s Story: Fighting to Survive Breast Cancer" is the story of one woman’s survival from the shock of diagnosis to the joy and relief of becoming a cancer survivor.

Gracie was used to taking care of everything herself. A single mother of three, she was not easily scared. But learning she had Stage Three breast cancer was frightening. Facing the year-long road ahead of surgery and radiation was frightening. But Gracie was determined not to let that fear control her. She resolved to seek out happiness and laughter through every step of the long, painful road ahead. Now she is sharing how she did it and the difference it made to her in this newly published book. Living and Laughing through Treatment and Recovery. Three cornerstones held Gracie up through her experience of diagnosis, a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments: love, support and a positive attitude. For Gracie, staying positive became part of staying alive. She credits her ability to focus on things that brought happiness and laughter into her life with helping her come through cancer.

Support from loved ones is important, but reading the words of someone else who has been through the diagnosis and treatment and come out the other side as a survivor offers a deep sense of hope and encouragement. "Gracie’s Story: Fighting to Survive Breast Cancer" is not just optimistic get well wishes; it is one woman’s real life survival guide. In other words, it is an important read for anyone who has been recently diagnosed with cancer and those close to them.

"Gracie’s Story: Fighting to Survive Breast Cancer" available now on Amazon worldwide in paperback and electronic form.

Phoenix, AZ

Radiation done!

My name is Ronnie and I was diagnosed with DCIS in October. I had a partial mastectomy and fought with infection for a long time. I started radiation in January and finished on February 25th. Now I will take Anastrozole for the next 5 years. My cancer was discovered through a routine mammogram and caught early. My word of wisdom is ladies get your mammograms scheduled!

Ronnell Holida
Brookings, SD

My Worst Nightmare

Just before thanksgiving i was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. It started out with what was gonna be a simple lumptectomy ended up being a double masectomy. And that's exactly what I did a month ago. I still have a long road ahead of me. Chemo, radiation and reconstructive surgery. But more than anything I did not want my 25 year old son to bury his mother. At least not yet. And even though Im still in pain I know I will get through this. In the beginning I swore I would not let cancer take over my life but as we all know it does. Keep fighting ladies and know that you are not alone.

torrington, CT

My amazing Mummy!

This is my amazing Mum. She was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in November 2014.

She had to stop working and basically everything, but she never stopped smiling. She had 8 months of chemotherapy and a mastectomy. She was back at work within 7 weeks of her operation.

She is the strongest, most inspirational person I've met. Even her hair has grown back a different colour and curly! She doesn't know how much she has overcome and even supported so many other women throughout her cancer journey! Here's to her massive smile on her first birthday being in remission!

Love you Mum like you would never imagine ❤️❤️❤️🎉🎉🎉

Olivia Emmerson
Isle of Man, United Kingdom

My Journey

This was my summer of control, running every day, losing 20 pounds, meeting my 45th birthday with pride. My general checkup showed amazing blood work and kudos for the weight loss. Then I went for my mammogram. Having dense breasts, a return visit was a familiar experience. Then I was asked to wait for the radiologist. What?? It was likely a radial scar, but it would not hurt to check in with a breast care specialist.

So, my nurse navigator chose one within the amazing group, and the consult was set up. After an ultrasound, biopsy, genetic testing (which came up negative), and several sleepless nights, it was discovered that I had Stage 1 IDC. Very small, very early.....Next was the plastic surgeon consult - I opted for a double mastectomy. The cancer was only on the left side, but I was not taking any chances. Fast forward, I had my double on January 5. My lymph nodes were clear and there was such a small amount of cancer, all found and removed during the surgery. No chemo, no radiation, and about to begin Tamoxifen. Recovery has been tough - expanders are crazy and strange! Reconstruction will be soon, and I am ready to get back to work in between. I have been fortunate to have an amazing team of doctors and nurses around me who have answered every question and led me through this journey. Most of all, my family and friends really showed me what love and friendship are all about. I am finally feeling like I am recovering - relieved to not have to go through chemo or radiation - sending strength, prayers and positive thoughts to those who do. We are stronger than we think we are. Don't be afraid to ask for help, whether it is for yourself or for your loved ones. Get your kids the help they need in order to navigate through the uncertainty of it all, no matter how much they protest! Allow yourself to to your significant other....listen to what they have to say as well!

Jacqui Gross
Fanwood, NJ

five years free then bang

Hi I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in Febuary 2010, After trying to breast feed my daughter I noticed my nipple had retracted. Doctors had told me it was just blocked milk ducts so i left it but overtime it started to worry me so I got them to check it out deeper. I had an ultrasound and mamogram but nothing showed up but they did a biopsy to be sure. The results come back positive stage 3 breast cancer with lympth nodes involved. I had a lumpectomy and a node clearance, then followed up with chemotherapy and radiation.

I was disease free 2 years after treatment. In July 2015 i developed pneumonia for the first time and got it 4 times within 6 months. Then they decided to do a ct scan where they found tumors on both my lungs. I now have stage IV cancer with no cure. I have had chemo and radiation again and will continue to fight this with all I have. I just am going to think positive and live everyday to its fullest.

tracey everingham
Ingleburn, Australia
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