10/30/2009 7:22:25 PM ET
Submitted by Tracy Westwater
After beating ovarian cancer at the age of 31, I found myself as a caregiver for my Mom for two years as she lost her valiant battle with breast cancer. Less than two years later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer myself and was suddenly was facing my second cancer under 40 without my Mom to help be through the battle a second time. After two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, I have a fighting chance. Unfortunately, I lost my job of 13 years and my health insurance along with that and my hospital can no longer treat me. I am scared that my unemployment is a bigger threat to my surviv
Submitted by Amelia Frahm
Amelia Frahm and Tickles Tabitha
Breast Cancer is what continues to give me the courage and perseverance necessary to overcome my fears, smile and say thank you to whomever and whatever beats me down. I was diagnosed 15 years ago at age 34, back when cancer was still whispered about in front of children.
The children’s book I wrote about cancer was rejected, which is the last thing you need when battling Breast Cancer. I found my courage when my best friend died of cancer leaving behind two young children. I established a company and published "Tickles Tabitha’s Cancer-tankerous Mommy," i
Submitted by Michele Broderick
At 28 years old, newly married, mother of a 4 year old daughter, and step mother of a 10 and 7 year old daughters, being diagnosed with breast cancer has made me realize certain things in life can wait. I will be starting chemotherapy in a few weeks and have learned that things like dishes, laundry and picking up toys all take a back seat to spending time with my family. Young women today really need to be aware that this can happen to them and perform their monthly self breast exams. Self breast exam is what saved my life. I was able to catch the disease before it spread to the lymphnode
Submitted by Carol Keating
Myself and my daughter, Cati Mendez, at the Survivor's Walk of the Relay for Life in May 2009 just two weeks after my masectomy. I'm wearing one of the crocheted caps that I have made and donated to others. It has a butterfly on it signifying all of the changes that I've gone through since diagnosis. Cancer has definitely made me stronger because it has been even a bigger challenge than my divorce twelve years ago. Both have shown me that the right attitude is the secret to survival. My advice is to live each day like you are living - not like you are dying. There is a difference. Make
Submitted by Linda Astesana
I am a 42 year old Breast Cancer Survivor...and I say that with pride. I was diagnosed on April 22, 2008. After surgery, 6 rounds of aggressive chemo and radiation and I am happy to say that I am cancer free! Cancer made me stop and re-evaluate what is really important in life, but it is even more than that. I think of my fight with cancer as just a "blip on the radar". You can't let it take control of you, you have to take control of it and it's effect on you. Cancer robs you of the secure feeling that you once had that life will always go on and replaces it with the profound appreciati
Submitted by Renee Jones
My name is Renee. I am 35 years old and am in the fight for my life. I have too much of it left to live and I am not ready to cash in my chips just yet.
I was diagnosed in January of this year with DCIS. It was thought at the time that it was non-invasive. That was unfortunately not the case. There was a small amount of invasive cancer found . This was all orginally found by going for my initial mammogram. Most women these days don't go until 40 but being my mom was just diagnosed 3 years ago I did not want to take any chances. I had a mastectomy of my right breast and four rounds of ch
Submitted by Robyn Wolfe
I was diagnosed in May of 2006 with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. I was 36 years old. My mother was going through chemo for Pancreatic Cancer at the time and we sat side by side having chemo. Cancer has made me stronger in so many ways. I have learned to not sweat the small stuff and try to always look at the big picture. It has made me realize how amazing family and friends can be. They were by my side for my entire battle and continue to be so. The biggest life lesson that I have learned is to appreciate what you do have, take the time to smell the roses. My mother lost her battle to Cancer
Submitted by Anonymous
I am currently battling breast cancer for the second time after ten years. This time it is stage 4 and I was totally devastated when I got the news. When I had it ten years ago it was DCIS, so you can imagine my surprise! I'm am dealing with as well as I can, I have a very strong support system! There are good days and bad days, but for the most part I try and stay positive and focus on today and what I have not worry about what is down the road. But it isn't always easy! I have to make myself work on it everyday! I am 52 years old and have two wonderful daughter's and a great husband that rea
Submitted by Michele Fleitell
In 1997, I was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in my left breast. At the time, I was just moving up in my career to administrator in a high school. I was treated with radiation and went on with my life. Three years later, I developed ductal carcinoma in situ, breast cancer in my ducts on my right breast. I opted for a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction after much consultation with my doctors and my family. As a wife and mother to a 14 and 16 year old, I had too much to live for to not do whatever I needed to survive. I have since again moved up in my career and recently reti
Submitted by stephanie gopoian
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in May. I had surgery and I am currently undergoing chemotherapy. This has been very difficult on my 4 and 6 year old. I have been hospitalized several times for complications. They are upset with my hair loss and physical appearance.
However, with all this I have seen more kindness in people than ever. Families from the childrens school, friends, neighbors bring me meals daily, they make lunch for the kids, they take them on outingsand check on me. Even the saleswoman from Macys sent me a get well card. People all over are offering their h
Submitted by Anonymous
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in January of 08. I had a mastectomy in February of 08, with no positive nodes. Stage 2A. I had 8 rounds of chemo.I was diagnosed in July of 09 with widespread metastatic disease. It is in my liver, spine, hips, chest wall. I did everything right and was treated by Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo,N.Y. It does not seem fair.
Submitted by Patsy Hays
I had breast cancer and on Sept.29,2009 I rang the bell to say that my chemo treatments were over. I do have to do 6 weeks of rediation still but the chemo is over!! I was lucky I found my cancer in stage1, I just happen to be at home and saw a person on TV say " You don't have to have a lump to have Breast cancer." I sat back down to see what they were going to say and the lady said any discharge from the nipple, inverted nipple or itching from the nipple area could mean that you have cancer. I was in shock I had every one of them. That was the middle of April, on April 27 I had a mamagram an
Submitted by Lynn Allison Watkins
My husband and I are celebrating 5 years of cancer free me while living on the North Coast of Egypt! We went to live in Hurghada Egypt after finishing my chemo and radiation treatments in April of 1995. I found the lump in October of 94. We are living again in Egypt as of July2009. My cancer did not stop me from doing what I want...
Submitted by Anonymous
My mom and I are both cancer survivors. She was diagnosed in 2002 and I found mine in 2006. I don't know if its made me stronger, but its made me aware. In 2008 I was also diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. I realize that my body can fail me and that anything can happen so I try so hard to hang on to a moment, remember to always say 'i love you' and that I do the best I can with what I have. Its the only chance we got...right here, right now...don't let it pass you by.
Submitted by Valerie Brenneman
I have walked two years in a row now in the Columbus Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. I would love to run it one year and am working towards that goal!
Submitted by michele vongerichten
I am fighting breast cancer with every option I have available to me. At age 46, I am too young to let this disease take my life. I am a huge advocate for self examinations - it is how I found my lump this January and immediately called my doctor. Biopsy, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and I am now on tamoxifen to help reduce my chances of recurrence. I am also using diet and exercise to not only regain my strength and wellness back after the hell of chemo and the rigors of radiation therapy, but am using it to combat cancer by making myself as healthy as I can. I have found that cancer
Submitted by Dana Muldrow
These are my greatest accomplishments, my children Brrittany and Brendon Martin. I was diagnosed with BC in 2007 at age 37, 4 years after I lost my 7 year old daughter to an illness. At the beginning I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I struggled through chemo, radiation, and 4 surgeries. Two years later I am cancer free and trying to get my mind back on the future. The time after treatment is as hard as treatment because I'm just not quite sure what I'm suppose to be doing, how I'm suppose to feel and act, if I'll find love and be comforatable with my new body. What I say
Submitted by Eve Mart
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2008…less than a month after my 35th birthday, more than 20 years since my mom’s diagnosis. I could hardly wrap my mind around these words. I was scared to death, literally…then I went on the offense. The only way I would survive mentally, is if I felt I was in control of my own fate, even if only my perception. I think my spirit is still healing, despite having finished treatment nearly one year ago…but I’m strong and will not be beat. I have way too much living still to do! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Submitted by Anonymous
I was diagnosed Dec 2008 at age 36, I was 27 weeks pregnant with my daughter at that time. December 17, 2008 I under went a lumpectomy while I was still pregnant. I then had to be induced on January 28, 2009 to deliver my daughter at 36 weeks so I could start my treatments in February. I completed 6 rounds of chemo lasting until June 9,2009. Then I completed 7 weeks of radiation. While completing radiation I actually participated in the Susan G Komen 3 day walk in Seattle Washington, where I completed 25 miles of the 60 mile stretch. I have never been more proud of myself! I then completed rad
Submitted by Diane Slomowitz
My DCIS’ 5-year anniversary looms, but I am not a statistical “cure.” In the 4th year, uterine cancer. Four months later, DCIS’ return.
Still I celebrate. I am above ground. I am healthy.
After the diagnosis, my son became a man under Jewish law. But he really became one much earlier-- when I pulled the car over and said “We have to talk....”
Five years, hoepfully more, of gifts. Of my son, parents, family, friends, big dog, co-workers.
That bastard cancer gives you a choice. Lay down and wait. Or get up and walk the dog.
Submitted by Lesley Levenstein
I fought off my breast cancer in 2002 with recommended mastectomies, chemo, and radiation. Six years I remained cancer free and lived my life as if nothing ever happened. January 2008 I was diagnosed with Leukemia, caused by the chemo. I was one of the small percentage of people who develop Leukemia. Two bone marrow transplants later, I am still fighting. The hardest part about cancer is accepting the help from others, that you need to get through this. It takes a village. There are many things that I have lost, but nothing compares to the love and compassion that engulfs every minute of my li
Submitted by Corinna White
I am the first in my family to have breast cancer. Was diagnosed June 25th '09 with a very fast growing and aggressive tumor found during a self exam at age 42. I opted for a double mastectomy...why do this again? It was done July 6th (it was growing so fast she didn't want to wait for when I would fit into the regular schedule so my doc came in on a day off, what a great lady!). They found the cancer in 2 of the 16 lymph nodes taken so I am stage 2. Started chemo August 6th, only 3 more to go! The pic is shaving my head after most of the hair fell out which is no worries since it will grow ba
Submitted by Anonymous
I am currently nearing the end of my fight with breast cancer. The biggest life lesson is if I can fight thru this, I think I can do just about anything. You endure a lot and it make you realize how much everything and everyone around you means. My advice for others is to stay positive and if others offer to help you let them, it was hard for me to, but when I did I was able to relax more. Stay away from the internet and find a team of doctors that you are comfortable with and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Submitted by Carrie Olsen
I was 34 the year I was diagnosed. the same age my mother was when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. she live 2 years after her diagnosis. I was 6 when she died. Growing up with out your mother is hard, growing through life events without your mother is hard.
Thankfully my story is different. 6 years later I am still here for my kids and cancer free. that was my first thought when I was diagnosed. I didn't want them to grow up with out a mother too.
I have faith that if they had to follow my path there is a God who loves them and would watch over them as he did for me. God is good regar
Submitted by Jan Moore
I was twenty five years old when I got diagnosed with breast cancer. As a mother of a five year old son, wife, daughter, sister, I never thought it could happen to me. My family has no history of breast cancer and since I was pretty young I didn't really think it could happen to me. After getting a bilateral masectomy with breast reconstruction and six round of chemo. I had decided that I did not want any young women to have to go through this journey. I decided to volunteer with Susan G. Komen for the cure and during my journey I started writing a book. I would go and guest speak in front of
Submitted by Lisa George
Bracing myself to turn 40...but I wasn't prepared to brack myself for the big "C"! Age 40 years 358 days, IDC Stage II! I am a different, stronger, more tolerant person...of myself and others. My life is changed forever, you smell the air differently, the little things don't matter, and every moment with my husband is much more valuable! I celebrate year 42 this year...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Submitted by Jacqueline A Meyer
My husband, children, family and I are celebrating 8 years as a Breast Cancer Survivor. I was diagnosed June, 01 by my annual mammogram-I had no lumps. Breast cancer had gone through 8cm of tissue, and I was stage 2B as it had gone into my lymph nodes as well. After 4 rounds of the most aggressive form of chemo as well as other medication, I went into remission in September 01 and was declared "CANCER FREE" in January 08. I still continue with my follow up every 6 months. I have certainly learned to take a very proactive role in my health and my family's. Although every day is an adventure it
Submitted by Stacey Coffing
Being diagnosed with Breast Cancer 4 weeks after my husband, SSgt Cary Coffing, returned home from a 7 mo. deployment to Afghanistan. We are a strong military family with 2 sons, ages 11 and 8. Diagnosed at age 34, BRCA 1 positive and had to have bilateral mastectomy and total hysterectomy. Keep your faith, laugh often and Love always!! The journey is yours to own...all you have to do is write it out!
Submitted by Wanda Pearson
I have always been teased about wearing rose colored glasses. The last few years I have pushed the limits on having a rosy attitude. In 2005 my husband of almost 40 years was diagnosed with prostate cancer and kidney cancer, didn’t cry (he is doing well). In 2006 I had my first heart attack, didn’t cry. In 2007 I had my second heart attack, didn’t cry. In 2008 I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, didn’t cry (our poor kids). I went through my cancer treatment in 2009, didn’t cry much. Went back to work in June 2009 was terminated on 9/11/2009, cried hard. What would I do for the r
Submitted by April Check
I am coming near my 1 year anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing multiple surgeries and 4 months of chemo...I am a strong and positive survivor. I want to encourage women of all ages to know their breasts. Due my diligence of self-exam and following my gutt feeling, I was diagnosed early. Even though I was afraid to mention my lump, due to fear of confirming the worst, I did. Catching this ruthless disease early...is the only means of survival!
Submitted by Susan Lindley
I was 25 when I had my bi-lateral mastectomy..After 18 surgeries and chemo Cancer will not define me, I define me!
Submitted by jean hoffmann
I was diagnosed the first time with breast cancer at the age of 41 and had a modified radical mastecomy with chemo. The second time was 2007 at the age of 51 and under went another modified radical mastecomy, but did not have to have chemo. I have been reconstructed on both sides and I look great. Well cancer has made me a stronger. The advice I give to others is don't give up
Submitted by charisse reeder
Hello, My name is Charisse. I am 50 years old soon to be 51 on 10/30. I was diagnosed on March 13th (friday the 13th) of 2009 with triple negative breast cancer with a low survivial rate. I had a lump for almost 2 years that was misdiagnosed until I went to another Doctor. When I found out I was devastated to say the least. My life passed before my eyes many times over and over. I got in the City of Hope and they started my teatment. Immediatly I had16 rounds of Chemotherapy and then a bilateral mastetomy. Thank God they were able to get everything. I had no lymph node involvement. I have wond
Submitted by Michelle Monroe
I was diagnosed of my 31 birthday with breastcancer. I did not know what to do, everything seemed like a dream. I am currently undergoing treatment which should be finishned the week of Thanksgiving. I have learned never to take anything for granted. If you want to do something go do it. Do not put off what you can do right now for later. I now cherish my family more than ever and I am fighting to stay alive for my three kids.
Submitted by Lisa Heffner
This is my Susan G 3 Day picture that I love.............I was about 45 days post bilateral mastectomy and in treatment..............completed the entire journey. I met so many heroes, so many people bigger than life, so much love, so much inspiration. I am signed up for 2010 walk already!
I am currently in treatment again as DCIS came back to the mastectomy incision site. I will finish at the end of the year. With many surgeries, much treatment, much loss of hair:)...............I have learned to lean on family, learned to trust, learn to love, and learned that this is not a solo journey.
Submitted by Mary Reed
I found out I was pregnant in April 2008 at the age of 41. At my first prenatal appointment the doctor found a lump. It was breast cancer (her2 neu, stage II) I had a mastectomy and started chemo three weeks later, at the beginning of my second trimester. I was so scared, but I knew I had to be strong for both my survival and my baby. With tremendous support from family and friends I made it through the six rounds of chemo. I had Josie on Dec 8th, she came into this world full of life and fighting! She is the joy of my life. Three weeks after she was born I started up on more chemo and hercep
Submitted by Jacquoline Aull
I am a 38 year old mother of two children, daughter age 9 and son, age 6. I was first diagnosed with Triple Negative B/C in April 2006. My OBGYN actually found the lump in my left breast through a routine exam. I had a lumpectomy in June 2006 and 4 cycles of chemo, then 6 weeks of radition. In 2007, another lump was discovered, so I had a mastectomy, then a month of chemo once again. October 2007, I discovered a lump in my chest wall. Hoping it was only scar tissue, a biopsy confirmed it was cancer again. I had Pet scans, Bone scans, and CT scans and it has spread to the right lymp nod
Submitted by JUDY ROSALY
Cancer teach you how great is life,have more faith in God and trust only in God.I am stronger and now I can help my dad with his Cancer.Please go to the doctor if you see anything abnormal.
Submitted by Kerrie Harris
I was diagnosed in October 2007. Stage 3 breast cancer. I had a mastectomy in November and did 8 chemo and 33 radiation. I missed the day of and the day after my surgery and worked 6 days a week through all my treatment. My family and friends were so great! I am now cancer free. Fight Like a Girl!!!!!