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FORSIXTIES's Photo FORSIXTIES Posts: 77
2/11/09 11:09 A

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That's right...it's not you...it's the exam, it's not you, it's the exam :) Thanks, and now I'll start getting to know you better!

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FLUFFYWONKENOBE's Photo FLUFFYWONKENOBE Posts: 2,002
2/10/09 6:30 P

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Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, it helps us to feel like we know you a little better! You too are a strong woman, and we welcome you to our team!

BTW - I'll try not to take your comment about the mammograms personally ;) - it's not me, it's the exam . . . it's not me, it's the exam . . . it's not me . . .

"I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety." (Psalm 18:1-2, NLT)


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FORSIXTIES's Photo FORSIXTIES Posts: 77
2/10/09 4:06 P

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Thanks for the welcome! I know you're right....we all have quite a story and I doubt there's anyone out there who doesn't know someone who has struggled with cancer. I'm delighted to have found this group!

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FORSIXTIES's Photo FORSIXTIES Posts: 77
2/10/09 4:04 P

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Thanks for your response...I am so aware of how lucky I am because I have heard of others like yourself, who after all I went through, had to then go through treatment. My heart goes out to you. I hope you're doing well and staying positive.

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KARENAZ's Photo KARENAZ Posts: 312
2/10/09 1:11 P

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Thanks for sharing your story - I agree that you were one of the lucky ones in catching it so early. I have found the hardest part is the months of ongoing treatments AFTER all the surgeries, and have always wished mine was caught early like yours so that surgery could resolve it.

Thank goodness you were so lucky and I applaud your grateful and positive attitude, and celebrate your 4 years of survivor health!

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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,458
2/10/09 12:55 P

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Welcome to the team! That's quite a story you have there, guess we all do to some extent......but glad to have you with us, this is a very strong, very suportive group, feel free to ask, answer, question or vent, that's what we're here for!

Suzanne emoticon

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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FORSIXTIES's Photo FORSIXTIES Posts: 77
2/10/09 12:43 P

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Well, I am one of the lucky ones....at 52 years old I was diagnosed with DCIS (malignant calcifications) in my left breast. My two boys were 13 and 16 at the time and I knew I had to bring on all the troops to deal with it. I went to a City of Hope doctor and found a naturapath. They wanted to take a second biopsy and do an MRI to make doubly sure they were seeing everything in that breast. I was under the impression that I was going to have a lumpectomy and radiation therapy and completely fell apart in my doctor's office when he told me that there were two spots in different parts of the breast and that he recommended a mastectomy. I will never forget the shock of hearing the word "mastectomy." And it turns out they were right because the pathology report ultimately showed that calcifications had covered 3/4's of my breast. I was blessed with wonderful doctors and after second opinions and lots of tears scheduled a surgery that would include a full reconstruction with an 8 hour surgery. The City of Hope was like a fancy hotel. I couldn't believe my room and the facilities and I was blessed with superior care. My surgery went well but on day 4 of recovery my new breast lost it's "heartbeat" and looked as if it were dying. It was a Sunday and my doctor was apparently barbequing with the family but was at my bedside within a half hour for a second surgery. I had just eaten my first meal and the timing couldn't have been worse. Another four hour surgery saved the breast...he had to take a vein from my ankle and transfer it up to the section that was dying...apparently I had a kinked vein and this was a first for this doctor (who was quite famous in his circles...he wouldn't forget me:) And then of course there were 2 more surgeries to get my nipple (yay!) and have it tatooed. I quickly developed a fondness for my new breast :)

It's been almost four years...the worst was the first year. I'm a marriage family therapist and take care of a lot of people in my life. I had to take a three month leave of absence to recover and focus on taking care of me. I was very very fortunate in that I never had to have chemotherapy or radiation...we caught it soon enough. When I went back to work I remember missing my breast cancer experience and couldn't figure out why....until I remembered all the love and support and the feeling that without a doubt, when it all adds up, breast cancer had many many gifts....it gave me perspective and joy and gratitude like I've never felt before. Sometimes it's easy to just move on and not think about it....denial is a lovely place to be sometimes...but then those damned mammograms come up every year and those doctors will be all over me for the rest of my life :) And it's okay....I don't really ever want to forget....and truly there isn't a day that goes by that I don't know that I was one of the lucky ones...this was still considered early detection.....

So, that's why I joined this group.....

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