I am now a 19 year breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer while pregnant with my daughter. Eve is a beautiful, young college sophomore and she has always been by my side at the Relay for Life, Making Strides, and Komen Foundation walks. Recently she was selected by her college to be the chairperson for the Relay for Life Kick Off events. Today she asked for photos of me in my scarf holding her to include in her power point presentation. It’s difficult to look back at those images, but when I look into her eyes all I can see is a bright future.
As I approach my 8th anniversary (Nov. 2004) of being (breast) cancer free, I’m reflecting on all of those wonderful, incredible people (my husband, my daughter, my family, friends, my parish family, and those people whom I do not even know) who have supported me, walked my cancer journey with me, have touched me with their thoughts & prayers, and the many, many ways they have carried, yes, carried me emotionally, psychologicaly, mentally, and spiritually in the past eight years.
My dear sister-in-law, Marianne Higgins Rennie (also a breast cancer survivor of 24 yrs), gave me the gift of your book, “Uplift, Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors.” Little did I know 7-1/2 ears ago when I began reading your book, Marianne was a contributor.
My first angels were of course, my husband & daughter. I never knew how loving, giving & supportive they could be. And they honored me with their love, compassion, & caring (still to this day). They never let me doubt for a minute I could beat this awful thing called ‘cancer!.’ They believed so I could believe.
One of my Heavenly Guardian Angels, Annie, was the first person I called after my initial diagnosis and she lifted me up in her goodness & prayer daily! She was also a breast cancer survivor & she was experiencing the fight of her life when her cancer came back with a vengeance. Sadly though “my Annie” lost her battle while I was going through my own cancer therapy but I’ll never forget her words & many times they were just six simple words, “God will get you through this!!”
Now I have a real team of ‘sistas.’ Two of my sister-in-laws, several very dear friends, and those sisters (& brothers) I encounter weekly with my volunteer work with the American Cancer Society with their “Road to Recovery” and Reach for Recovery programs. They show me what courage really is. God bless them!!
Jan. 7,2012 I finished (my first) reading of the 10th anniversary addition of Uplift. Next month I will be a 10year breast cancer survivor. Thank goodness!!!! I had a lumpectomy,chemo and radiations. Asking my husband to shave my head after my hair started falling out showed that I was in control.
I worked during my chemo but took off during radiation. I reconnected with a high school classmate and my husband’s relative and friends, meeting monthly for lunch which, after I retired (Aug.2010), started attending again.
My husband and I traveled to South Dakota and Alaska. I took a solo bus trip to Branson, Missouri.
Yearly I help raise money for Team Cure at the Relay for Life event as my brother Rick is a cancer survivor of 34 years.
I am happy to be alive and enjoying life (in retirement).
Diag. 2002 age 52
I was diagnosed in December 2011. Before my mastectomy, I went shopping for treats to take to staff that day. I found rolls of Lifesavers at Sam’s Club and handed them out to everyone I came in contact with that day. I told each person, from the parking attendant to my surgeon, “Thank you for being my Lifesaver,” or “Thanks for your role on my Lifesaving team.”
Instead being nervous about surgery, I was anticipating who was going to get the next roll of candy. It charmed everyone and I received many hugs and prayers from staff.
This worked so well that I repeated the gesture when I finished radiation and when I returned for reconstruction surgery.
It made such a difference in how thought about my experience.
I was diagnosed in May 2011 and had surgery along with a TRAM flap in June. I just finished reading your book and was so very enlightened. Even though I didn’t undergo radiation or chemo, I still read the entire book from cover to cover. As a matter of fact, the section on Support Groups gave me an “ah ha” moment to try to start one in our county. Thank you so much for writing this book!
Barbara and Uplift Sisters, I am beyond honored to have my words published in the 10th anniversary edition of Uplift! I just celebrated my 1 year anniversary of being breast cancer free and got the news about being in the book, what a great anniv gift! Beatin its butt is what I will continue to do!
The day I was undergoing breast cancer surgery, my brother was diagnosed with throat cancer. He fought his battle with unbelievable courage, humor and strength. He is my hero. He taught me to face cancer with humor, positivity and strength. I am forever changed for what I witnessed him endure.
I was diagnosed with sarcoma a form of bone cancer in June 2008, received nine months of chemotherapy finishing up treatment in July 2009. It’s been three years post op. For me personally, having a positive attitude got me through the hard days and drawing strength from my religion.
I was just diagnosed with Breast Cancer this past June. I just started my radiation treatment yesterday. I was given a copy of UPLIFT from my sister who was diagnosed last August. We have no history in our family so having 2 of us diagnosed was a shock. I have found UPLIFT so inspiring and want to thank you for writing this book and for all those woman who have contributed. The book has brought me much comfort.
I just celebrated one year since my bilateral mastectomy. Being diagnosed at age 40 was a shock, and the past year has been full of more ups & downs than I could ever imagine, but I got through it all with a smile and the empowering knowledge that I can face anything that comes my way.