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Topic: Success Stories!

Forum: Who or What Inspires You? —

Share your personal story, diagnosis, and treatment path, and stories of survival, hope, and success to encourage and inspire others!

Posted on: Jun 23, 2003 03:41PM

Carmelle wrote:

Every now and then I read a post on this forum that talks about somebody who has lived a long time with disease. I know there have even been threads with many node positive success stories and stage IV survival stories.
These have been the most uplifting influences for me on my journey.
In a world of breast cancer where medical staff are so reluctant to offer hope and even we ourselves cannot always see the light I think it would be great to have a compilation of good stories that we could put in our drawer and take out for those days when the "scared" comes out too strongly.Then read just enough to spark that hope again.
I am trying to put together these stories in a booklet format and would love it if anybody could email me stories they know that can shed light on our path.
Here is my email: carmelle@bwr.eastlink.ca
I would love to hear from you.
Michelle

update: 02/23/03
glad to see all the stories. just wanted to say that the booklet idea was just an idea. i think the posts do a great job on their own don't you?
let's keep this to the front if we can for any new people to read or add to. barb, you are excellent for not letting this get lost.
Yesterday is History... Tomorrow is Mystery...Today is a gift. Dx 3/7/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 25, 2003 09:02AM Andie wrote:

My mom was diagnosed at 6o, had a masectomy and nothing else. She is a healthy 85 yr. old.
Andie
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Jun 25, 2003 10:24AM Sunshine wrote:

My cousin had BC when she was 30 something. She is now in her 90's and is and has been cancer-free ever since.

My sister-in-law's mother is a 15 year survivor of inflammatory bc. Back then they did a mast and told patients that they had 6-9 months to live and that's that. She was the landmark case to do the chemo first then mast. She is still alive, despite fighting (and winning) bouts with another BC, colon cancer and liver cancer. She now how a clean bill of health. My true hero.
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Jun 25, 2003 08:31PM Sachi wrote:

My mom's friend was diagnosed 40 years ago before all this fancy chemo stuff. She had a bilateral mastectomy, is now 80 years old and looks fantastic. She's very active and healthy. I think of her when I get down.

Barb
Sachi
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Jun 25, 2003 08:52PM Sphynx wrote:

My grandmother was born in 1875 and had one breast removed at the age of 50, around 1925. She died in 1974, 6 months before her 100th birthday. Can you imagine the kind of surgery available in 1925?

Dx 2/28/2003, Stage II, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2003 12:32AM runner1 wrote:

I don't have any success stories to contribute but just wanted to say I think this is a wobderful idea! I'll find this very helpful on days that I don't feel very optomistic! Thanks Carmelle!

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Jul 1, 2003 01:50PM Catherine wrote:

My grandmother's friend was a tiny lady about 4'11". She loved saying, "My doctors gave me six weeks to live and I outlived every one of them." She had a mastectomy, colonoscopy and numerous other surgeries, but she stayed feisty as ever and died in her 90's. She was a real character and I think that's what kept her going.

My grandmother herself was given several weeks to live when she had BC and died 20 years later of leukemia at age 80.

My other grandmother had a mastectomy in the mid-60s and died at age 96. Nothing slowed her down and she worked full time until she was 80. My brother used to tell her dirty jokes and she'd come back with jokes even worse than hers. I loved that. It's important to keep a good sense of humor. Otherwise you just want to cry!
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Jul 1, 2003 02:44PM Carmelle wrote:

I thought of one too. My surgeon had to tell me over the phone about my positive lymph nodes and I tried to take it really well but she knew I was scared.
She confessed to me that her mom had a bilateral mastectomy many years previously (when she/dr was a teenager)with no other treatment. She died of old age at 86.
She also shared with me that "most women dx with BC will die of something else". I cling to that line when I need it.
Michelle
Yesterday is History... Tomorrow is Mystery...Today is a gift. Dx 3/7/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2003 02:48PM Sachi wrote:

Carmelle,

Thanks for starting this thread. I think it will be one of the first ones I check every day.

Barb
Sachi
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Jul 3, 2003 09:27AM marcoarea wrote:

I agree with the others. Great thread!
My Mom had bc in 1980. She had an ugly mastectomy, no reconstruction, chemo, and rads. She is now a VERY healthy 84years old, minus one breast.
Love and Hugs,
Sharon
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Jul 10, 2003 05:37AM Sachi wrote:

I went to a wonderful store yesterday to buy my first prosthesis. Everyone there was a BC survivor. The lady who helped me had a mastectomy 20 years ago and the other woman I chatted with had used the same surgeon I did 21 years ago. I figure when I'm ready for therapy I'll just go hang out at that store!

Barb
Sachi
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Jul 10, 2003 02:12PM stella1298 wrote:

This is the best thread!!!

My grandmother had bc 24 years ago, had a mast. and nothing else. She is now 98 and will probably die of old age! Thank you!
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Jul 11, 2003 10:51AM jessie wrote:

My grandmother had a mastectomy when she was very young (not sure how old she was) and she died at 87 of something else. My aunt had mastectomy 18 years ago and is now 80 and still going and offering me advise and moral support.
Jessie
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Jul 16, 2003 12:30PM Sachi wrote:

This is such a great thread, I hate to see it lost! I'm sure there are many more stories out there that will help to encourage people new to this board!

I just posted the question asking about famous people with BC and there are many responses there - most of them would be considered success stories.

Barb
Sachi
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Jul 16, 2003 12:46PM baseballgirl wrote:

My neighbor is a 17 year survivor. She asked what she could do for me when I was diagnosed. I told her the best help was seeing her raking her leaves, working on her garden, walking her dog and just being a healthy retired person was the best medicine in the world!

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Jul 16, 2003 12:49PM baseballgirl wrote:

oops, one more. my grandmother died in 1978 and the funeral home contacted her kids to let them know she had had a mastectomy. SHE DIDN'T TELL ANYONE. Funeral home figured the scar was 15-20 years old. No records exist; her doc and my grandfather were long dead. Our guess is that was how a bad biopsy was handled then. She died in her 80's of something else. If she had that surgery today, what a great supportive community she would have had! Glad attitudes have changed!

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Jul 16, 2003 01:18PM Carmelle wrote:

I don't want to see it lost either and love to read it here. That was the idea anyhow.
My neighbour introduced himself as the son of a 14 year survivor (she was 48 at dx)and had a mastectomy.
She is doing great and you would never know.
Michelle
Yesterday is History... Tomorrow is Mystery...Today is a gift. Dx 3/7/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 18, 2003 11:57AM njgal wrote:

Famous people ...

let's not forget about Happy Rockefeller and Betty Ford. Weren't they diagnosed about 25 years ago? Still going strong as far as I know.

Elaine
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Jul 18, 2003 12:13PM LzTish wrote:

I need a little help and a success story please!
My mother was diagnosed, had a mastectomy and they found involvment in one lymphnode and cancer in 4 places in her spine. They are very small spots (sub-centimeter). She is on Femara and Zometa and a lot of homeopathic and alternative treatments. I am wondering if anyone has a success story regarding BC metastacizing to the spine. It would be a tremendous help to me right now!!
I am grateful.
Liz
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Jul 18, 2003 12:53PM Sachi wrote:

Liz,

You might want to start a new topic under the Just Diagnosed section with your question. I know there are ladies who can help you - but they might not see your question here.

Barb
Sachi
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Jul 22, 2003 05:07AM Sachi wrote:

Sorry to keep pushing this but I loved Michelle's idea for this thread. I KNOW we have lots more success stories out there to share - so , come on ladies, let's hear about them! This is a great place for all of us to check in for a pick me up and a good place for our new sisters to come to.

Barb
Sachi
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Jul 22, 2003 01:56PM Gypsypet wrote:

My mother-in-law was dx in the 80's (sorry, don't have the full info), had a mast, 5 years on Tomoxafin (sp) when (from what I've been told) it was in trials (I may be wrong). Great lady, doing well, even if her mind isn't... but she's someone I look up to...

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Jul 25, 2003 04:43PM DeeSkye wrote:

I hopped over from the newly diagnosed. I had to go to the dentist this morning. He told me about his grandmother getting BC in both breasts at the age of 66. She had bilateral masts and lived for 22 years. He told me he never saw her
looking "blue". She never looked back. She lived each day to the fullest.
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Jul 25, 2003 04:46PM DeeSkye wrote:

I hopped over from the newly diagnosed. I had to go to the dentist this morning. He told me about his grandmother getting BC in both breasts at the age of 66. She had bilateral masts and lived for 22 years. He told me he never saw her
looking "blue". She never looked back. She lived each day to the fullest.
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Jul 26, 2003 04:33AM maywin wrote:

My mom's best friend just passed away at age 84 of Alzheimer's. She had a mastectomy the year I graduated from high school-1972! Another of my mom's friends had a mastectomy about 20 years ago and she's perky as can be at age 78! Neither of them had chemo or radiation as it wasn't given back then. When we refinanced our mortgage in April I had just started chemo and the loan officer (whom I had known for ten years) told me she had bc twenty years ago at ago 42 and just a mastectomy. Obviously she is still doing fine. She also said that she had had a big tumor, too. So many women have had bc and I was unaware of it. Oh yes, a fellow PTO member at my son's high school told me she was having reconstruction this year-she had her mastectomy 13 years ago and was just getting around to it.

Dx 2/25/2003, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 26, 2003 05:03AM sully wrote:

My grandmother (dad's mom) had bc in the early 60's and lived to be 82. She had a mastamoy back then. She did have a reaccurance at the age of 80, but that's not what she died from.

Dawn
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Jul 26, 2003 05:53AM Carmelle wrote:

me again,
my aunt from Ohio (not blood related)
told me on the phone that her mom had BC 70 years ago and had a mastectomy before she was born! then she passed away 25+ years later from somethng else.
Michelle
Yesterday is History... Tomorrow is Mystery...Today is a gift. Dx 3/7/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 5, 2003 01:11PM Sachi wrote:

A woman I went to college with was just honored by a local BMW dealer. She'd had BC 11 years ago (when she was 35) and she's doing and looking great!

Barb
Sachi
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Aug 11, 2003 04:27AM Carmelle wrote:

Posting to the top again. Hoping for more good news.
Michelle
Yesterday is History... Tomorrow is Mystery...Today is a gift. Dx 3/7/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 11, 2003 03:49PM Pomey555 wrote:

My friend got BC when she was 30.
Just had a lumpectomy (no chemo, no rads). 1 child and 19 years later is doing fabulous!!
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Aug 11, 2003 04:02PM dlm wrote:

God Bless you all for this site, it will be the first i go to from now on. I was a little down but after those uplifting stories I just kicked myself and said see with God all things are possible, enough of the sad stuff thanks for the shot in the heart

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