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Read more stories, A-G

Celebrating Survivors

 

Amy Watts
For about 18 months before I was diagnosed, I felt very depressed, drained of energy. It was scary. I was 31, trying to raise my sons, and working full-time as an OB nurse, but I felt so bad. I even told a friend of mine, "I feel like I have cancer or something!" not knowing how true that would be. Amy's story

Becky Aglinsky
When I found a suspicious, thick area in my right breast, I immediately went to my doctor. Because I was only 35 years old with no family history of breast cancer and no real risk factors, my doctor sent me home and told me not to worry. I was very relieved but, unfortunately, also very misinformed. Becky's story

Betty Collazos
In the spring of 1995, I had a regular doctor's appointment with my family doctor. A very close friend of mine and I were visiting a few days before the appointment, and she mentioned that she had just gone to the doctor for a mammogram. I told her that I had never had one and she insisted that I should mention this fact to my doctor, so I did mention it. Betty's story

Bob and Kim Badali
After being married for two years, Bob and his wife Kim welcomed their new daughter Toni into the world in February 1995. Less than seven months later in September 1995, Kim discovered a lump in her breast. Feeling she was much too young to have breast cancer, Kim figured it was just a fibroid but tests confirmed it was cancer. Read their story

Bonnie Chizek
I am a woman, mother, sister, grandmother, stepmother, friend and breast cancer survivor. In 1979, my 26-year-old sister had breast reduction surgery and carcinoma in situ was discovered. In September of 1990, my 69-year-old mother was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. Bonnie's story

BonnieSklar
One of the most difficult times for me was between finding the lump and hearing the words "You Have Cancer." Once I started treatment I felt stronger—it was easier for me to go on with my life. Bonnie's story

Brenda Wilson
Cancer is not something you can control, but you can control how you handle it. If you choose to let it get you down, it will do just that. If you choose to go through the journey and learn something from it, then it will have meaning. Brenda's story

Catherine DeCoske
In my seventh month of pregnancy, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My only thoughts were how to save myself and protect my unborn child. I have to say it was the most difficult time of my life. And I am happy to say we are both healthy and happy a year and a half later. Catherine's story

Cathy Drummons
I've always been diligent about getting annual checkups and mammograms, but always with the mindset of "it won't happen to me." After all, I don't have a family history of breast cancer, and I eat right and exercise (sometimes). Cathy's story

Cherryl Troy
Never did I think seven years ago that I'd be writing the story of how breast cancer changed my life for the better! Back in l996 I was in Mexico for the summer with my daughter, who had just taken a job at a language school. One day, the news came that my mother-in-law had suddenly passed away. I decided to cut my vacation short and go home. If I hadn't, I might not be here today to tell my story. I am one of the lucky ones who has benefited from early detection. Cherryl's story

Christine Whelan
On April 25, 2004, I felt a pain in my left armpit. I thought I had strained myself because I had recently started doing pushups. I felt a small lump and asked my husband to check it too. He felt not only that lump but also another larger lump, which neither of us had felt before. Christine's story

Chyri Venetis
I was once told by doctors that I had less than a year to live...13 years later, I am cancer-free! I was 36 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had three children who were 13, 11, and 2. I was a devastated young mother who could not believe this was happening to me. Chyri's story

Cindy Smithers
When I was 22, I gave birth to my second child and, like the first, I took great joy in breastfeeding my beautiful daughter. When she was just a few months old, I found what felt like a piece of gravel in my right breast. Cindy's story

Cynthia Fair
In 1994, my Aunt Clodia was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ten years later, when I was 44, I was diagnosed with breast cancer too. I underwent three surgeries and radiation therapy, and am now cancer free! My Aunt Clodia lost her battle with breast cancer the year before mine was discovered, but she was the angel watching over me. Cynthia's story

Dawn Cavanaugh
I found a lump in my right breast in November 2002. A few weeks later, at my surgeon's office, I got the horrible news: I had breast cancer. I had gone to her office by myself, and at the time I felt so alone—I didn't know what to do, what to think. I called my mom to tell her the devastating news. All I could think was, "Am I going to die?" Dawn's story

Debbie Spurio
My idea of relaxing is to take a long hot bubble bath and then hop into bed and watch a little TV. However, on a Sunday evening in April of 1998, I reached over to set my alarm and felt a hard lump on the left side of my breast. My husband told me to contact a doctor first thing in the morning. I did, but my family physician could not see me until Wednesday. I was panicking. Debbie's story

Deforia Lane
I was alone when I heard the diagnosis. I sat my husband down and told him the breast would have to go, and we wouldn't know if the cancer had spread until after the surgery. He looked into my eyes and asked me, "Deforia, what are you most afraid of?" I said, "Seeing the hurt in your eyes." Deforia's story

Ellen Dublo
I was 37 years old and the mother of two sons. The younger of my boys was the recipient of my right kidney three years earlier in a then-rare transplant from adult to toddler. Life was good. And then I learned that I had breast cancer. Ellen's story

Evelyn Sellars
Breast cancer can be devastating to a young, single woman. In June 2003, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal cancer of the right breast. My experiences over 27 years as a registered nurse did nothing to prepare me for the devastation of this diagnosis. Evelyn's story

Faith McCormack
I was 35-years-old and the mother of three children when I found a lump on my right breast. It was December 23, 1999, and we had just moved into our new home. The lump was rather large, so I don't know why I hadn't discovered it sooner. My mother told me not to worry—she had always had fibroids and I probably did, too. Faith's story

Gloria Hage
I had a breast exam during my visit to theOB/GYN in September 2003, and the results were fine. One week later, my husband noticed a lump in my breast. I dismissed it because I have dense breasts, and I believed that if it was anything important, the doctor would have found it during the exam. Gloria's story

Gwen Cohee
My name is Gwen and I am a survivor. I was diagnosed in November of 2002. I had breast cancer in both breasts and opted for double mastectomy with reconstruction. I had complications after the initial surgery and during my chemotherapy, which resulted in having to have my tissue expanders removed. Gwen's story