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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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Posts 31 - 60 (1,567 total)

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Aug 11, 2003 06:41PM Louis_Jay wrote:

My aunt miriam is about 73years old and had breast cancer surgery/chemo/radiation when she was around 40yrs of age.............

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Aug 11, 2003 08:23PM SuzyQue wrote:

Great topic!!! I love reading these stories. Sometimes I get bogged down in the negative "what ifs". This is a much nicer way to look at BC.

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Aug 15, 2003 09:07AM Carmelle wrote:

Liz,
I did not see your post till today. I do know of a lady in my Dragon Boat group who has been stage 4 breast cancer for 16+ years. I do not know about the mets to the spine as we do not really discuss these things.
Take Heart,
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 15, 2003 09:47AM jlea wrote:

What a great idea to talk about some positive experiences! I am midway between chemo and radiation and just reading these stories has been a boost, thanks!

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Aug 21, 2003 04:28PM nyawira wrote:

When I was diagnosed, I met one women diagnosed 12 years ago with 17 postive nodes. She's still kicking and looking good. I met another woman who was diagnosed five years or so ago. Just had her last appt with one of her doctors (breast surgeon?) and is doing just fine. I know another woman who was diagnosed twenty years ago and had a masectomy. She is looking and feeling good.

I'm a success story in 50 years!!!
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Aug 22, 2003 09:49PM LindaCA wrote:

LOVE this topic ! I haven't been here in many months it seems. Dx in July '02. Lumpectomy, chemo, and 33 trips for radiation. I was in P.T. for shoulder trouble (impingement syndrome) when I got the BC on the other side. After my surgery, my "good shoulder" went bad also.

Two P.T.'s AND my oncologist said "You may never regain your strength or range of motion." What a heavy trip to lay on a tennis player and a 64 y/o sort of retired gal. Up in Oregon I had a short "office massage" from a woman who'd had a mastectomy. A long hard surgery. She exclaimed, "Look at me! (with her arm wayyyy up and back) "If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT."

That was in May, and my husband had been recruited to help with some of the P.T. I was able to swim my first two laps in the condo pool up in gorgeous Depot Bay, OR. Prior to that it was only a dog paddle. We have a massage table and we were diligent about the work. I decided to add two laps every time I swam. Well, last week I swam FORTY laps. And Friday I did 28. If I go, I don't hurt. Tennis is coming back, as least I'm out there with my new "Rehab and Friends Group". Can serve overhead again.

Life is really coming along Just Great. Wishing you all full recovery ! LindaCA

I can reach the top shelves in the kitchen, open all the doors, pick up any plates or pots, fold big sheets, put on sweaters and coats, and fix my hair. It's sure a wonder how much we take for granted until we lose it.
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Aug 23, 2003 03:10AM beachcottage wrote:

LINDA CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ON YOUR HARD WORK AND ACHIEVMENTS!!! I AM WORKING ON MY RANGE OF MOTION AND NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT USING THE POOL FOR REGAINING STRENGTH........YOU ARE AMAZING ADN I WILL THINK OF YOU WHEN I MAKE MY LAP DOWN THAT POOL...I AM GOING TO JOIN A GYM AND MAKE USE OF A POOL AS SOON AS I HAVE THE STRENGTH..I AM RECOVERING FROM A NASTY INFECTION THAT SETTLED IN MY SHIN....I KNOW A WOMEN IN OUR HOMETOWN WHO WAS THE VILLAGE HISTORIAN UP UNTIL LAST YEAR..SHE DECIDED TO RETIRE AT THE RIPE YOUNG AGE OF 85...SHE HAD BREAST CANCER BACK IN THE 1960'S WHICH REQUIRED A MASECTOMY...WHEN I FIRST RECEIVED MY DIAGNOSIS I WENT TO HER AND SHE WAS A GREAT SOURCE OF COMFORT AND WAS SO UPBEAT AND POSITIVE ...SHE TOLD ME THAT I WOULD BEAT THIS "THING" AND WOULD LIVE A LONG,HAPPY LIFE..............SHE SAID CANCER BROADENED HER HORIZON'S IN SO MANY WAY'S.....SHE TOLD ME THAT MY HORIZON'S WERE JUST WAITING TO EXPLODE AND I FOR ONE BELIEVE THAT WITH MY HEART AND SOUL...... PATTI

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Aug 23, 2003 08:36PM LindaCA wrote:

<SHE TOLD ME THAT MY HORIZON'S WERE JUST WAITING TO EXPLODE AND I FOR ONE BELIEVE THAT WITH MY HEART AND SOUL...... PATTI>
Patti dear, * *Hold That Thought!* * I didn't quite believe that when I was in the throes, but since recovery, I am in absolute AWE at how wonderful the new days and discoveries are. Do take care of you body and your nutrition, and you will succeed.

Love and hugs and thanks for the reply, LindaCA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IP
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Aug 25, 2003 12:47PM Sachi wrote:

While talking with my mom-in-law this morning she mentioned 2 friends of hers who had breast cancer about 25 years ago. I hadn't known they were survivors. The ladies are now having other "old age" problems because....well....they're old! That's what we're going to be someday! Old!!

Barb
Sachi
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Aug 30, 2003 09:55AM Sachi wrote:

Don't mean to monopolize this thread - but I heard another great success story yesterday. My friend's sister had brain cancer. I had never really discussed it with my friend until yesterday (she's more the mother of my daughter's friend - we don't talk a lot) ANYWAY, her sister was told she would most likely have a recurrence within 2 years. How awful to be told that! Well, that was 12 years ago and the sister is doing fine.

Barb
Sachi
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Sep 1, 2003 10:12AM carkosh wrote:

Great thread, very inspiring! My husband's aunt had a mastectomy in the early 50's. She died several yrs ago at the ripe old age of 85 & not of bc. My husband told me her prosthesis was metal (can you believe?), not the soft stuff we have available now.

Carol
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Sep 2, 2003 05:16AM quinny wrote:

My mother had BC at age 45(around 1972) and had a bilateral mastectomy - no chemo or radiation. She was 70 when she died from something else.

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Sep 9, 2003 08:12PM faria wrote:

My friends mom was diagnosed 5 years ago, lumpectomy and 14 pos. nodes. She is cancer free and busy serving others!
I love this thread!!!!
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Sep 13, 2003 01:37AM sgolden wrote:

Like to see this thread continue of success stories. A girl at our Komen walk wears 39 pink ribbons. A lady I met on the Komen walk is 20 years out without a reoccurrence. My sister in law's mother had a very bad prognosis ten years ago and the most nodes positive ever seen (50 some) and she is still here with good quality of life. Keep the success stories coming girls. If anyone is out there just browsing the boards or you know anyone that is years out from dx please get them to post. It would be awesome for us to see this. Thanks girls. You are all a fun bunch. sheryll

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Sep 13, 2003 01:41AM sgolden wrote:

Faria: Thank you much for that post. I love to hear when people with postive nodes are several years out and doing well. I had 12 positive nodes. I also have an aunt that had lots of nodes and she is 8 years NED. Sheryll

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Sep 18, 2003 05:12AM Sachi wrote:

I was in a health food store yesterday and a very nice young woman behind me said hi and then said she noticed my scarf and had I had chemo? She told me that she had breast cancer 5 years ago with positive nodes (she didn't say how many). She looked great - so I told her I was going to post her under our success stories!

Barb
Sachi
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Sep 18, 2003 07:38AM pconn03 wrote:

Barb:

Thanks for the post . . . we need to hear and focus on all the positive stories we can. Thanks again,
Pat
Pat
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Sep 18, 2003 11:04AM Lorrie wrote:

I love the success stories! I am happy for those that are survivors and the stories also do so much for me. I had 1 positive lymph node and am just finishing up with rads. Also had mastectomy and chemo. It does me good to think about the good stories instead of dwelling on the bad ones.
Lorrie
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Sep 22, 2003 10:49AM Sachi wrote:

Come on everyone, I KNOW there are many more success stories out there. Let's get them written here so our new people can see that people live long healthy lives after beating BC.

 -

Barb
Sachi
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Oct 13, 2003 06:40AM Boop wrote:

Hi Barb,
Found the success stories and thought I would bring to the top for you..
I also know of a success story, My step-mother had breast cancer 25 years ago, she had a masectomy and radiation and her doctor gave her a 3% chance of living, well she lived long enough to get breast cancer in the other breast and have it removed , she is doing wonderful and I don't know what I would have done without her, she has really helped me in my journey with breast cancer..
God Bless,
Cherie
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Oct 13, 2003 10:53PM ivanna wrote:

Shortly after I was diagnosed in Dec '02 I met a woman at my docs office who is a 25 year survivor(one of my docs first patients!). I was terrified as I was waiting for chemo and she told me her amazing story. She had lymph nodes involved, not sure how many. She traveled from Bainbridge Island to Seattle all by herself to receive her chemo for 1 year. She did great for 20 years, then she was diagnosed with leukemia(don't worry there is a happy ending!). She got very sick and had hospice at her house as she prepared to die. Then one day she had a blood draw and it seemed that it was normal. She amazingly got better. The doc claimed spontaneous remission, as she was no longer receiving treatment. After all of this she was in a terrible car accident and wound up in the hospital for a year! I couldn't believe it. After all she had been through, there she was, smiling and sharing her story with me. I asked what helped her get through all of this and she replied "I have always had strong faith" . What an amazing woman! When I saw my doc he said there is a woman that I should talk to, and I replied that I already had and then he told me her story again. I was glad to hear it twice. Now I must go to watch Lance Armstrong on David Letterman!

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Oct 18, 2003 12:42AM MJINMD wrote:

As I was being briefed for surgery a couple of weeks ago in the pre-op area, the daughter of an older patient also in pre-op stuck her head in and told me not to worry. She said "You'll be fine. My mother and I are both long-term cancer survivors; my mother is 93" Don't have any of the details as these were complete strangers, but they were my angels that day.

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Oct 18, 2003 07:28PM Erica wrote:

Another success story to add: My mother-in-law had a mastectomy plus radiation at age 31 (she was living in Europe at the time, where they were treating with radiation). She had a new cancer in the other breast at age 46, and another mastectomy. At age 77, she's outlived her husband. Only complication--severe lymphedema in one arm from radiation. A small price to pay for nearly a half-century of survival! Knowing her story really helped me at the time of my diagnosis.

BreastFree.org (breastfree.org); BreastFree Blog (breastfree.blogspot.com); Twitter @BreastFree
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Oct 19, 2003 04:57PM Cherrie wrote:

These stories are so nice to read. What hope this gives to so many of us.

My au nt is 78. She had BC when she was my age at 48. She had a masectomy and colbalt treatments.
She has been healthy to this day. Her tumor was large too.

Cherrie
Dx 10/4/2002, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/21/2002 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 11/14/2002 Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2003 Surgery 10/11/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 11/12/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Oct 19, 2003 05:27PM seawolfe wrote:

My partner (Jon) has an amazing grandmother. I dont know the timing of it all, but she has had every sort of cancer and beaten it all over the last 40 years. Mastectomy, hysterectomy, lung cancer, brain cancer (I think I am missing one or two)! She hiked the John Muir trail when she was 80! She had a hard time with the whole brain radiation 2 years ago, but now she is a normal 85 year old, with 85 year-old problems. She called me often during treatment, and definately made me less afraid of chemo. And pointed out that since her mastectomy, all her mammograms have been half price!

Dx 3/2003, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Oct 20, 2003 12:42PM pyper wrote:

Oh my goodness how I just LOVE this thread,I haven't got any success stories of my own.I just LOVE sharing all of yours.
THANKYOU SO MUCH
Pyper
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Oct 20, 2003 02:40PM tess528 wrote:

Hi -- I was at a b-day party last weekend and a woman came up to me and said "Someone told me you had bc this year". She just wanted me to know that she had an almost 5cm tumor 12 years ago and was absolutely fine today. I ended pep talking her about reconconstruction that she now really want more than she pep talked me but the 12 year with such a big tumor was great to hear!!

Teresa
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Oct 20, 2003 04:00PM bcara wrote:

Ten years ago this coming March I was told I had breast cancer. I was just turning 41. I was in shock. I had 13 out of 19 nodes positive. I told them to zap me with everything that they had....I wanted to live. I will write my whole story some time...I'm just not a very good writer. I just want to tell everyone to hang in there. I never thought I would see my son graduate from high school and I did...and this year my daughter will be graduating(she was 7 all those yeas ago). It makes me still cry to remember how scared I was...but I AM still here today.

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Oct 22, 2003 05:40PM Shoes wrote:

my daughter's mom in law is a 20+ yr survivor. She was 30 w/2 small boys & she did it. I am 3 yr. survivor & hope to hear my grandkids telling about their 2 special grandmas.

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Oct 23, 2003 06:14PM jessie wrote:

Awhile back I posted on this thread that my grandmother and aunt had breast cancer and lived a long life after diagnosis.

Just wanted to update that yesterday I had a wonderful visit with my 80 year old aunt that had BC. I posted earlier that she had BC 17 yrs ago. I was wrong. I found out yesterday that it was 31 years ago and she is an 80 year full of spunk and laughter who lives in TX and was visiting her son in OKLA. I came away from the visit totally inspired--hope this will inspire someone else.

Jessie

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