It all seemed to happen so fast. I was babysitting my grandson and of course, like most 2 year olds, Danny, loves to be picked up and held. As I picked Danny up, I felt the sharpest pain I had ever felt in my left breast. I thought to myself, I must have pulled something while I was picking him up. However, as the days went by, the pain never seemed to go away. I finally listened to my husband and made an appointment to see my doctor. I'll be the first to admit, I have definitely put some weight on as I have gotten older and while I was at my doctor's office, she too had a problem finding any "out of the ordinary" lumps. However, as a precaution, being I had not had a mammogram in two years,(PLEASE GO EVERY YEAR) she recommended that I schedule one. I went for the mammogram and actually received a call from my doctor that Saturday. I knew something had to wrong for her to call me on a Saturday and call back so fast. She had told me that they had noticed a mass and it looks like it has "roots". She immediately scheduled me for biopsy. The results were devestating and I knew I'd be in for the battle of my life. Unfortunately, I needed to have both my breasts removed and that required a lot more mental healing rather than physical healing. As I look back, I know I could have cared for myself better and I always question...."what if I had done this or that". I know I have to stop questioning it though and come to peace with it. I am just so thankful to still be here. I am also so thankful and appreciate my wonderful husband, Gary, who stuck by me through this entire ordeal and I cherish every minute and every second I have to spend with my grandson. God bless you all and please take care of yourselves!
- Debbie P., Breast Cancer Survivor
Hello everyone. I'm writing to remind everyone, especially your women visitors, to make sure they check themselves and do self examinations on a regular basis. A couple of years back, while I was doing a self examination, I had found a lump. I said, "That can't be.", at the time I was only 31 years old. I thought for sure it had to be something else. After a trip to the doctor's, she confirmed my worst fears. It was a lump and to make a long story short, it was cancerous but thank God, it was in it's initial stage and I was extremely lucky. I am so thankful to the wonderful doctors I had through this ordeal, but even more thankful I checked. At first, when my mother told me about self examinations, like everyone, I was embarassed but I now realize how important it is to do self testing. Going through an experience like that can definitley put things in perspective. Since then, I've been living my life to the fullest and I'm not looking back!
- Julia Onteroso, Breast Cancer Survivor
This is not about me or my family, but two friends, who were sisters. My friend JoAnne, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 32, and her younger sister, Cathy, aged 29, who, at almost the same time, was diagnosed with breast cancer. (Yes, to family history of cancer in family) The doctors could not believe that two such beautiful, young, vibrant women in the same family were fighting vastly different diseases.
My friend JoAnne, passed in 1992, but Cathy, survived. After the cancer spread to her second breast, she had it removed along with her ovaries - she wanted to live. Cathy is now happily married and living with her husband in upstate New York. There is always hope.
- A Friend
"When I was first diagnosed with colon cancer, I immediately assumed the worse. Fear, shame, and just about a thousand other feelings rushed through me. It was a real hard pill for me to swallow. However, deep down I knew I couldn't let this disease get the best of me because my beautiful granddaughter, Lexi, was two months away from being born. I told myself, there was no way I was going to miss that. I went through all of my treatments and followed my doctor's orders to the "t". By the grace of God and some wonderful doctors, five years later, I am proud to say, I was able to escort my little Lexi to her first day of kindergarten and I plan to do the same when she attends high school.
- Thomas "Tommy" Marinaro, Colon cancer survivor
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