Below are brief summaries of each breast cancer survivor story. Please click the link that begins each summary to read the entire story.
Nancy's breast cancer survivor story - I am a 2 1/2 year breast cancer survivor. Luckily, my cancer was caught by mammogram in the very early stages. It was a stage 1 cancer. I had a lumpectomy and all the lymph nodes removed under the arm on that side. The nodes were all clear. I was able to get by without chemo, but I had 35 radiation treatments. God truly blessed me.
Leitha's breast cancer survivor story - My name is Leitha and I was 36 when I found a knot in my breast...She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said - honey, it doesn't look good...Me, myself and I had a pity party that night, the first of many...Surgery to remove the cancer cancerous lymph nodes, a second surgery because they didn't get it all (dirty margins), 12 weekly doses of taxol, 3 months of FAC and 6 weeks of radiation...One thing I learned is, cancer had to be harder on those who love me than it was on me...I have a family who cares about, the most wonderful son, a man (Bill) who loves and adores me, and a God who has me in his healing hands.
Alyson's breast cancer survivor story - I am 41 years old and still fighting for my life...had a chemo port surgically implanted into my chest...I was told Inflammatory Breast Cancer is the deadliest, most aggressive...I had chemo Adriamycin Cytoxin and Taxol...modified radical left mastectomy...38 rounds of radiation treatments...I am Estrogen Negative and HER2+...I am taking weekly infusions (in my chemo port) of Herceptin...my pathology report was fantastic and my genetic testing showed no genetic mutation...Life is a true gift - cherish it!!!
Dana - Granddaughter of breast cancer survivor - I asked if she had ever had a Mammogram, her reply was, NO, nothing hurts so why bother...two weeks after her test, she had a double mastectomy...She is 76 years old now and is doing great...It's amazing that so many women out there are worried about the discomfort of the test and therefore don't get the test done...I thank God that I was put in a position to do Mammography, otherwise my Grandma would not be here now. I feel someone was looking out for us when given that opportunity.
Michelle's breast cancer survivor story - While in the shower I felt something odd in my right breast. It felt like a lump, but I didn't think it was possible as three months earlier I had had a mammogram...I scheduled another mammogram and ultrasound for the next day...My radiologist was very reassuring. It didn't appear to be a tumor, but a cyst. He felt I should see a surgeon to drain the cyst...the surgeon tried to drain the cyst but was unable to do so. He decided we should just wait and come back in three months...By mid March my co-workers and relatives convinced me to get a second opinion. She also tried to drain it - no luck...She recommended a biopsy...The words I feared she spoke - it was a tumor, 2.4 centimeters...by Friday I had my right breast removed and a temporary implant inserted...oncologist recommended six rounds of chemotherapy...My tumor was estrogen receptive positive so that would also require my taking tamoxifin for five years...
Sharon's breast cancer survivor story - I got the call from my surgeon regarding the outcome of my biopsy...I was not able to feel my lump...I was not sick with Chemo (the new anti nausea drugs are so good!). I was not very tired from the radiation...If there is anything I can get across to your readers is that they need to get an annual mammogram.
Lauren's breast cancer survivor story - At the age of 34, on my 2nd anniversary, my husband noticed a lump...OB/GYN was 99% sure this was fibrocystic...I had a lumpectomy for a 2.8 cm tumor, with axcillary dissection...I had 8 affected lymph nodes...I had two types of chemo, Adriamycin and Taxol...I also completed 61/2 weeks of radiation...I found out through various surgeons and professionals that by the time my tumor had grown to that size, it had probably been there 10 years. I would have been 24.
Maris's breast cancer survivor story - I went in for my yearly mammogram with the usual confidence that I had always gone...I needed to have another mammogram just for precaution...biopsy showed I would need to have a mastectomy...in less than two weeks I was having surgery. The good news is there was no cancer in the lymph nodes and the pathology report was good...I had four sessions of chemo 21 days apart...I have been blessed with great doctors, nurses, family and friends.
Brenda's breast cancer survivor story - It all began so innocently! - To my shock, a week after the mammogram I received a letter in the mail telling me that an abnormality had been detected in my x-ray...scheduled a breast biopsy...I had cancer, and it was in very early stage, he said stage 0. Due to the nature of my cancer, a lumpectomy was not an option for me...The calcifications covered a large portion of my right breast tissue, and in order to remove all the cancer cells, a mastectomy would have to be done...chose to have an immediate breast TRAM flap reconstruction...My pathology report was excellent, the cancer had not spread outside the breast tissue, the lymph nodes were clear. My oncologist recommended no further treatments. No chemotherapy, no radiation therapy, no tamoxifen, nothing. All I had to do was recover from my surgery and pick up my life where I left off. What a blessing!
Sherri - Daughter of breast cancer survivor - When I was a freshman in college my Mom was diagnoses with breast cancer...doctors did not think it was anything but they decided to do a biopsy. Many were very surprised when the biopsy came back positive...three years later regular mammogram (and sonogram) they found a mass in the remaining breast...In the last two years my Mom and I have participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure walk in Houston, Tx.
Danny - 30 year old husband of breast cancer survivor - painful lump - negative mammogram - pregnancy after treatments - knows a little more of God's plans.
Bobbi's breast cancer survivor story - it has been six years since my last chemotherapy treatment...I was 31 years old and did not need a mammogram and certainly did not have time for one...it was very suspicious of malignancy...decided that ok, I was the one who was suppose to go through this and I was gonna be strong for my family and kids...I told the man I was dating that he was dismissed from the relationship...just like a man, he wanted to stay...I was not really ready like I tried to get my family to believe, I hate needles, I hate pain...I was dry heaving before my first session was complete. Oh joy and rapture how many more of these do I get? ...the chemo would make me vomit for five days and I could not get up only to get sick...so when I completed that I did my radiation which was a walk in the park...it was a very humbling experience, losing your hair and half your breast...by the grace of God I have a beautiful 10 month old son, along with a gorgeous 10 year old daughter (Whom looks just like me) and a very handsome 12 year old son, and a hunk a hunk of burning love Husband who without him I am not sure if I would even be here.
Gloria's breast cancer survivor story - outpatient procedure for an excisional biopsy...for a lump found...diagnosis was cancer...found out that my lump was small (1.1 cm) and that 18 of 18 lymph nodes removed were all benign...recommended chemotherapy and radiation followed by five years of tamoxifen...had four rounds of Adriamycin and Cytoxan...radiation treatments--35 in all, and began rads about 6 weeks after my last chemo...I discovered a group of women on an AOL breast cancer board who quickly became my online support group...we really connected and developed love and friendship with one another...when I was down or sad or scared, there was always one or another sister online to hold my cyber hand and lend a cyber shoulder to cry on...began taking tamoxifen in July 1998 along with my radiation treatments and I experienced tremendous hot flashes and I finally hit bottom and was crying all the time...saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with clinical depression and put me on Effexor...Now, I and many of my Just Us sisters reach out to help others who are newly diagnosed...
Paula's breast cancer survivor story - my yearly mammogram detected a small lesion in my left breast and I underwent a lumpectomy and a six week course of radiation...9 years later yearly mammogram showed that there had been a recurrence in the left breast...mastectomy is the only safe option pathology report showed that there was a marker namely lobular carcinoma in situ, which meant that it was 50/50 that I WOULD get it again...had second mastectomy I opted NOT to have breast reconstruction but to have two prostheses which I can wear all the time, or choose the occasions when I want to...Another plus - NO MORE MAMMOGRAMS!
Kimberly - daughter of breast cancer survivor - she had a mammogram and the doctor told her [the lump] was probably nothing, but we insisted on a biopsy...my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer...surgery was set...they would have to do a mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time...it was hard for her to get up and down because they used the muscle from her abdomen to make the breast, so it was like having two surgeries at once...my mother and I are closer than ever before...I pray for everyone else out there dealing with breast cancer!
Faye's breast cancer survivor story - My story begins with a routine mammogram...this time the radiologist came in to talk with me...there was something showing that she did not like the looks of...so a needle biopsy was scheduled...those were the two most miserable weeks of my life...I couldn't eat, sleep or concentrate on anything. I knew in my heart that I would be diagnosed with cancer, I just didn't know how bad it would be. My needle biopsy did show cancer cells...Thirteen lymph nodes were removed from my right arm and all were negative...tumor was estrogen receptive positive...drainage tubes were bummers...terrible hot flashes, but I take Bellamine which does help some...
Susanne's breast cancer survivor story - my first breast cancer appeared as a small little pea sized lump in my left breast when I was 29...had a lumpectomy and 5 weeks of radiation treatment...the scar area was changing...another lumpectomy and a 4cm. sized malignant tumor was found that had attached itself to the scar tissue on the inside...36 vitamins each day, 12 with each meal including shark cartilage, drank really awful tea and did magnetic blood cleansing treatments and pulsating treatments...MRI found tumor calcifications throughout the breast...had mastectomy, reconstuction and then multiple skin recurrences...found a small tumor in my right breast had a hysterectomy (since I am estrogen receptor positive) with follow-up arimidex...cancer had metastasized to the bones and I had 3 fractured ribs and 2 months of radiation treatments...taking monthly injections of faslodex (like tamoxifen)and a monthly infusion of zometa...for bone metastasis...had a latissmus flap reconstruction surgery...the best thing for me has been letting God take charge and admitting that He is in control of my life...
Chuck's story - Nothing I can think of can affect you as much as when you discover that the love of your life has a critical illness...what matters is that we give our total support to that special person...I hope I can help you do this...do not be afraid to cry, it is not the sign of a sissy, it is the expression of hurt, anger and fear. My dear friend if you think you can make things better by ignoring your feelings you are wrong...one of the first things you feel is helplessness. You are not accustomed to that feeling. The woman you love is now out of your ability to help...Being there is the best medicine you can give at this time...
Vicki's breast cancer survivor story - the radiologist said it was just a calcification...I wanted a biopsy...he was 99.5% sure it was not cancer...it was...lumpectomy did not have clear margins so I had to go through surgery again...after surgery came 32 radiation treatments...cancer for me was 95% mental and 5% physical...
Michelle - daughter of breast cancer survivor - I was only 11 years old when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer...I held her hand through chemo. I held the bucket when she got sick. I brushed her hair as it fell out...
Audrea's breast cancer survivor story - I was going through a series of fertility tests... the lump in my right breast was treated as nothing to be worried about...the biopsy showed high grade infiltrative carcinoma...I'm not sure if I really understood the depth of what I had just been told...I chose a full mastectomy on my right breast and also on my left...finished with chemotherapy...had my second stage reconstruction three days ago...My advice is to find a focus and live for that...
Danny - 30 year old husband of breast cancer survivor - painful lump - negative mammogram - pregnancy after treatments - knows a little more of God's plans.
Laura's breast cancer survivor story - 27 years old engaged to be married... I felt a lump in my left breast...had mammogram an ultrasound and told it was just a cyst...2 years later had cyst removed and told it was cancer...had a lumpectomy had 4 positive lymph nodes, chemo, stem cell transplant, and radiation...a diagnosis of radiation to my lung...serious pneumonia after this with suppress immune system from the stem cell transplant...had three blockages in one artery from radiation...4 years later... Scar tissue near lumpectomy seems a little different, but regular CT, Bone Scans, Mammograms, and labs don't show anything. I saw a breast surgeon at this hospital and she did a fine needle biopsy. She told me it didn't show anything...2 years later new doctor didn't like this scar area either and sent me for a mammogram and ultra sound... Well, doctor could see this mass under ultra sound and thinks it's scar tissue too did a core biopsy and found it was cancer...Last year I was the #1 female fundraiser in our local Relay for Life, and my team...
Roberta's breast cancer survivor story - I am a soon-to-be survivor of inflammatory breast cancer...There was a lump - small, slightly tender and elliptical - on the side of my right breast...the tissue around my nipple was slightly thickened...a small area of rash rather like a light sunburn around the aureole. No itch, no sting, no soreness, just slightly redder than normal...mammogram results indicated an area believed to be benign...surgeon told me he had seen inflammatory breast cancer and this wasn't it...did a skin biopsy, with the results being inconclusive...prescribed many antibiotics...after ultrasound, diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer... treated with chemotherapy - Adriamycin, Cytoxan, 5FU and Tamoxifen with a 5FU booster and mastectomy...reacted badly to the first Taxotere treatment...next week, I start radiation therapy for 6 weeks... Through it all, the most wonderful things have happened...
Gail's breast cancer survivor story - The Cyst That Saved My Life - diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42. I felt a lump in my right breast that was slightly painful...mammogram was highly suspicious for carcinoma...the lump I was feeling turned out to be a benign cyst but the mammogram revealed a mass that was malignant.
Cathy's breast cancer survivor story - survivor for 12 years... M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston treated me for inflammatory carcinoma...8 rounds of chemo, 33 radiation treatments and a segmental mastectomy with removal of some lymph nodes...I got a clean bill of health...I was determined that I would live to see my kids grow up.
Donna's breast cancer survivor story - scheduled mammogram as an afterthought...radiologist then suggested ultrasound...then suggested biopsy...I got the call that I had malignant breast cancer, stage II, grade II...I had two surgeries (lumpectomies) on the left breast and lymph node removal; 4 courses of A/C chemo; 12 weekly treatments of taxol; and 33 radiation treatments...lots of useful information for those on or needing chemo.
Nancy's breast cancer survivor story - discovered 2 breast lumps in my left breast...had negative fine needle aspirates (FNA)...told to come back in six months...then had negative mammogram...two years later had negative ultrasound but biopsy was suggested...two years later yet another doctor diagnosed Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, stage IIA...had bi-lateral mastectomies...lymph nodes were all negative...had 4 cycles of chemo therapy and am taking Tamoxifen, which I suffer a lot of side affects from...also have mild lymphadema in my left arm from the lymph node dissection...parents have been my rock and have been by my side the whole way.
Mary Ann's breast cancer survivor story - I had a history of cysts...lump did not show up on mammogram...after ultrasound, the doctor told me it was a fluid-filled cyst and nothing to worry about...One year later...the results came back the same...wouldn't give me a referral. I went to the surgeon on my own...my lump was not just a cyst...lumpectomy followed by mastectomy...My message is this...take an active part in your healthcare.
Sabrena's breast cancer survivory story - I had a lump about 1 inch in diameter which was classified as a T2...I had a lumpectomy done in September of 2000. I had a port a cath put in for the chemo treatments and blood draws...8 weeks for radiation treatments...the surgeon came in he said, "You now have breast cancer on the left side"...I have never cried so much in my life...I choose to have a bilateral mastectomy...The skin died in a couple places which was causing me to have multiple infections...So I guess I am a survivor for 9 months. I really look at things differently. I don't take life or loved ones for granted.
Tiffany - 18 year-old granddaughter of breast survivor I was scared, I didn't know what to expect and what they would be doing to her. I regret everyday of my life for not going up to the hospital when she was in there...she has been cancer free for over a year now and I thank God everyday that she is still with us...now I take every chance I get to see her or spend time with her! I love her so much!
Jayne - 39 year-old breast cancer survivor - still getting treatments - woke up feeling lump - had mammogram, ultrasound, needle biopsy and then a full surgical biopsy - diagnosis of a 7 millimeter invasive ductal carcinoma - recovered from a second surgery to remove more breast tissue and lymph nodes, which thankfully were clear - thinking of trying meditation or counseling - it's a tough road but feels great as you move on!
Vera - daughter of breast cancer survivor - mastectomy on right and lumpectomy on left - 8 weeks of chemotherapy - learned that we should live each day to the fullest and cherish every moment that we can with our family and friends.
Vicki - breast cancer survivor- negative biopsy - waited 5 months - made it through with God's presence.
Julie - breast cancer survivor - chemotherapy - radiation - new beginning in life.
Debi - breast cancer survivor - no lump, negative mammogram - ductal carcinoma in situ - removal of both breasts - God's help and my husband's love - Founder of Friends In Touch Breast Cancer Support Group - Includes Breast Cancer Forum and Chat.
Robin - 32 year old breast cancer survivor - bone marrow transplant.
Marianne - breast cancer survivor - modified radical mastectomy - co-founder of Breast Cancer Support Group on the Web.
Kelly - 34 year old breast cancer survivor - bi-lateral skin sparing mastectomy with TRAM flap.
Carrie - 24 year old Stage II, grade 4 breast cancer survivor - double radical mastectomy - HER2/NEU positive.