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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!

Laura
St. Charles, MO

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