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Janis Fitzgerald: "Mommy, will you still have cancer on my birthday?"

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 49 and at the time I was in my early 20's. I remember telling her it was one of the 'better' cancers to get. How naive I was at the time. I never understood her fear and as far as I knew BC was curable. I was diligent about monthly self-breast exams and even had my first mammogram at age 35. I knew getting BC was a possibility, but not in my 30's? I was officially diagnosed right after turning 40. I was shocked when my pathology report came back that I was a stage IIIC just a breath away from Stage IV. At the time my twin boys had just turned… » Read More

Carol: Finding joy in a dark time

I am a 66 year-old retired nurse. I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in October 2010. It was my first cancer diagnosis, and I was shocked, not only because of the seriousness of this disease, but because I had a negative mammogram 4 months prior to the discovery of "the lump." I discovered it in the shower on September 11th...another reason I will always remember that date! I had an itchy feeling on the lateral side of my left breast. I remember scratching and realized it was the same location as the stereotactic biopsy of the left breast I had in February 2009. The results of that… » Read More

Pamela Lipton: Being ready to deal with a new treatment

In February, 2005, after a routine mammography, I was diagnosed as stage 1. One month later, I was informed it was probably stage 2. Then my oncologist ordered a scan to "make sure the cancer hadn't spread." Wow... that had never even occurred to me. I was stunned that cancer spread was even a possibility. I was still reeling from the initial diagnosis of breast cancer.. and now my head was filled with thoughts of possible cancer spread.


As it turned out... my cancer was not stage 1 as first thought .... it was not stage 2 as they later thought.… » Read More

Shirley: Taking charge of your own care

Since September 2003, I have been living with metastatic breast cancer.


My experiences underscore the importance of taking charge of your own care. When my metastatic disease progressed, I did not give up on myself. I educated myself and became my own advocate. Because I was able to find the right doctor for me, get the best treatment for my tumor, the course of my disease changed.


Six years ago I was given 1 year to live... and here I am today... standing strong!


I was first diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 1991. I was… » Read More

Noreen Fraser : Living with Incurable Cancer One Day at a Time

I am a 57-year-old mother of two almost-grown children, and I have been living with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer since 2003.

I've had breast cancer since 2001, but it has recurred twice-the first time in my bones and just last month to my liver. My doctors would say I am the perfect model for the future of cancer. I have managed to stay alive with incurable cancer for 10 years thanks to my doctors and my body's ability to keep my cancer at bay with estrogen blockers.

With the diagnosis came the realization that I might not be around much longer. I could not imagine leaving… » Read More

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