I was looking forward to the start of a new year, 2011 promised to be filled with happiness and love. However, this would soon be shattered by what I was about to find.
Breast Cancer Stories
In 1988 when I was 32 years old I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time. I did my 6 months of Chemo and followed all the rules laid out by my Doctor. 4 years later I had a recurrence.
I have never shared my whole story with anyone before. Perhaps I find it hard to talk about or perhaps I am just scared to death. Not to share of course, but because of the unknown future it holds. But if one person reads it, benefits from it and takes the next step of getting the dreaded mammogram then it will all be worth it. If it saves one life that would be priceless.
My mom's story is not a success with life, but a success with the legacy that she left behind. Mom grew up in a small town, learning the values of family, hard work, and dedication. She was one of two girls. At an early age, she lost her mom to breast cancer and later in life, lost her sister to the disease. I will never forget the day in 1991 when Mom was first diagnosed. Ovarian cancer. She battled and won this round after a hysterectomy and treatment. Then in 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a double mastectomy and more treatment, she conquered this round.
My strength and courage, came from my Mom.
I’ll never forget that fateful day.
When my sister, Mom and me heard the doctor said, we have bad news, the tests are in.
I suddenly lost my happy grin. My beautiful Mom had breast cancer.
They said don’t fret, but to no avail
We will get through this..we will not fail
There is no choice, we must stand tall
And beat this thing, once and for all.
I am writing this story about myself. :) I am a single mom of three awesome kids. When I had just turned 34, and my children, Jake, who is autistic was just turning 4, Elle had just turned 2, and Tyler was 8 months old, I was diagnosed with Stage 3, HER2 and estrogen positive breast cancer with lymph node involvement. My husband was still with me, but went into denial about my cancer.
On December 14, 2011, my life shattered. I lost my mom from a long hard battle with breast cancer. It started in 1998 when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I was about 12 around at the time. My mom underwent chemo, radiation, and a stem cell transplant. She was in remission for 13 years when it came back in her other breast again as Stage 4. At that time it had spread into her bones and from there into her liver and, in the end, her brain. My mom is my hero. She fought so hard in this long battle and she never forgot to smile. I became my Mom's caretaker.
My story started in 1996 when I was 34 years old. My mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I asked my doctor to please order mammograms for me since my mother had ductal carcinoma in situ. Every year I had a mammogram whether I had to pay for it or not. In January 2004 when I had just turned 40 and bought my first house 90 miles away from my doctor, I went for one last mammogram in my hometown.
In March of 2010 I signed up for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day in Washington, D.C. The walk itself was 60 miles over 3 days, but the journey to get there was 7 months long, and completely changed my life.
One in eight women get diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. And although my family - so far - was safe, as the mother of a teenage daughter, those odds were unacceptable. I was walking for all the mothers, the daughters, the sisters, and the friends who were the one in eight. And I was walking so that my daughter would not be.
It's a new year! This has been my motto the past several years. I had a heart attack at age 41, a massive pulmonary embolism in both lungs at 43 ... and was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer ... at age 45. My diagnosis followed the recent deaths of my sister and my mother. I was definitely looking for something positive to happen, not breast cancer.