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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:
I would love to hear from you.

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 151 - 180 (1,567 total)

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Oct 10, 2004 03:29PM Molly57 wrote:

A friend at work was diagnosed 7 years ago. Don't know how big the lump was, but 19 of 20 nodes were affected! She had mastectomy, chemo and stem cell transplant then rads. She is active and disease-free now, living each day to the fullest.

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Oct 11, 2004 04:30AM CorinneO wrote:

I was diagnosed with BC when I was 25 years old, it was grade 3 and had 1 lymph node involved. I had lumpectomy radio and chemo. A year later I found another un-related BC in the other breast. This one was much bigger, was also grade 3 and I had 5 lymph nodes involved. I had a much harsher chemo and another lumpectomy, and my doctor said I had a 50% chance of living another 5 years (kind of him ). I then had a good long think and at the ripe old age of 26 I came to my senses and decided to have a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. This is the good part... It has been nearly 9 and a half years since my first diagnosis, and I am still going STRONG! I really believe that a good portion of my success has to do with POSITIVE THINKING and a lot of positive support from my family, especially my husband. I also had a little mantra I used to say to myself every night before I went to sleep: I am going to live a long, happy and healthy life until I am an old lady in my 80's! I aint going nowhere! I used to say it so often that I made myself believe I would be ok, and I have been. Even today when I have a worried thought I say it to myself, and it helps me. After 5 years I was officially discharged from the hospital (no more check-ups) much to the surprise of the doctors and nurses. Keeping positive was hard at times, but I just kept saying my little mantra before I went to bed every night.. and I am still here, healthy and strong and Im not going anywhere till Im a little old lady in my 80's!

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Oct 12, 2004 08:48AM jlcmomofthree wrote:

I went to a family reunion this summer and an older lady (80's, friend of our family, but I didn't know her)told me she had a mastectomy over 40 years ago! She had no chemo and no radiation. She never had the other breast taken off either. I asked her if she had ever worried about a reoccurance during all these years. Can you believe she said nobody had ever mentioned that it might come back. She didn't even think about it!
Now, I was feeling guilty that I had opened my big mouth and had mentioned "reoccurance" to her and maybe I would make her feel bad. She said I had not. (I hope I didn't, I was so interested in her story and she was such a source of strength for me!)
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Oct 14, 2004 03:45PM Sachi wrote:

What great stories... keep 'em coming!! There are so many success stories out there and I love to read this thread and be reminded of them.

Jennifer, That's so neat that the woman you spoke with never even thought about recurrence. I wish noone had ever mentioned it to any of us!

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Oct 25, 2004 10:28AM londonlady108 wrote:

When I was diagnosed last year being only 39 I was somewhat shocked and terrified. However so many ladies I knew, many of Mum's friends came over and said "Don't worry dear that was me 10/20/30 years ago!!" All these ladies are now well into their 70s and all look great. All are active and beautiful. I thought "WOW" it certainly gave me the lift I needed.

PS first year post treatment and I am dancing with NED, infact I see him as being a life long partner.
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Nov 17, 2004 01:55PM Sachi wrote:

Back to the top for our newbies!!

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Dec 9, 2004 01:18PM Carmelle wrote:

All this time I've had bc i have never thought of saying a mantra.i am going to start the same one every night and every morning.
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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Dec 27, 2004 09:11AM cher wrote:

disthat women have any lymph node involvement.If so how many

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Dec 29, 2004 11:14AM Fitztwins wrote:

My mother was dx 14 years ago. Her tumor was 4 cm. Very agressive. Here she is today..14 year survivor. She never lost her hair during chemo.

Live Strong!!
Enjoy Every Sandwich. Dx 12/12/2004, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 1/19/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap Chemotherapy 2/1/2005 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/1/2005 Breast, Lymph nodes Targeted Therapy 6/1/2005 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2006 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 6/2/2008 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 7/1/2008 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 6/15/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 9/5/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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Jan 8, 2005 08:39AM Sachi wrote:

Fitztwins - What a great inspiration (your Mom) for all of us. Thanks for telling us about her.

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Jan 9, 2005 05:03AM sgoat13 wrote:

Great thread!!!

My mom had breast cancer 19 years ago (at age 42). Modified radical mastectomy and a year of chemo. She went on to go to support groups for others, see her 3 children get married and have 9 grandchildren. She just turned 61 and even though recently has a recurrence in the bones, hopes to live a productive fulfilling "life". She's pretty stubborn so she's got that going for her.
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Jan 9, 2005 06:39PM Ben66 wrote:

Gives me hope to hear about your mom. I'm sure she'll beat it again. Just curious though, did she have any lymph node involvement at her initial diagnosis and if so how many??
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Jan 10, 2005 02:27AM sgoat13 wrote:


Yes, she had 10 out of 18 lymph nodes and her tumor was 3 cm. Her "prognosis" was not good. I was 21 and was so afraid she wouldn't be there to see me get married or see her grandchildren. We just never expected to have a recurrence after 18 years. We were under the impression that after 5 years your chances of recurrence were so small. But, from these boards there are many women having it happen to them after 15 years or so. But, if you think about it, this is probably something new since people are living so long with bc. So, that's a very good thing.

The thing that puzzles me about my mom is that her bc was initially er+ and now it is er-. This hasn't been explained to me yet, so that is my questions for the doc. I'm not sure he can give me an answer though.

Good luck to you and on the days you lose hope.....come here. It is a wonderful place and we all have our down days. I get in such a panick sometimes about my mom and these ladies are great.
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Jan 10, 2005 02:15PM Ben66 wrote:

Thanks for your response Shelly. I mostly hear of success stories for ladies without node involvement and I get all depressed. I had 5 positive nodes with vascular invasion. This is what really scares me.... anyways I try to stay postive and be thankful that all other organs were clear. If I do ever have a recurrence, I pray that better and new drugs and treatment will be available. My dad has colon cancer and has been battling it for 4 years now. He was diagnosed with metasesis to his liver and his outlook did not look great. He is stable and doing well, he is not in remission but is on and off treatment. The doctors are all amazed at his progress, they use him as a successful example for other patients. He is 72 years old and his secret is to not think of the C word and stay positive. Whenever he goes to the hospital for his chemo, he is always joking with the nurses and they love it, he is famous for telling jokes. They love when he comes in because he livens up the place!!His advise to me as soon as I was diagnosed was, just try not to constantly worry and think of that awful word............
Good health to all for 2005!!!
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Jan 10, 2005 04:24PM sgoat13 wrote:

You know if my mom would have had bone mets many years ago, I doubt she wouldn't be here now. She was able to put the "C" thing out of her mind for a long time.

I really don't understand the statistics. They all sound so bad. My mom only had a 50/50 chance of living 5 years. That sounds so bad. Here she is 19 years later.

I do wish I would have gotten her on anti-depressents sooner though. I think it would have helped with her stress level. So, if you are the type that gets all worked up over everything like her, I think it's better sooner rather than later.

I wish you the best. I'm sure you will beat it. Attitude is everything. Your dad is right.
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Jan 11, 2005 05:09AM raven81 wrote:

Shelly, thanks for sharing your Mom's story. It has helped me so much. My pathology was very similar to hers, and if I can get another 20 years or more with my girls, I'll gladly take it.

Hope your Mom's doing well, and that the bone mets stay under control.

Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply, Speak Kindly, Leave the rest to God Dx 10/30/2003, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 7/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 11, 2005 08:42AM sgoat13 wrote:

I'm so glad I can be of help to you ladies. You go through so much and even though I don't have bc (yet), being so close to my mom, I feel like it is happening to me.

So many of you have helped me. It's amazing how one minute you can feel like you are in control of this disease and the next panic set in and you feel like the end is near.

Good luck to all!!
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Jan 12, 2005 11:51AM eva2004 wrote:

Here is my mom,/not mine/ story.
She was diagnosed 28 years ago with todays equivalent to
stage IIIc.
Huge tumor that had her skin pulled in , 7/9 positive lymph nodes.The surgeon didn't want to scare her so instead he told me that the cancer will for sure show up somewhere within 6-9 months.
She got only radiation to the scar plus as an only prevention - additional rads to the supraclavical nodes .
Chemo wasn't available there and then.
A year after the tretment she started losing weight and lost a total of over 50 lb,got nauseated with anything she ate and was constantly tired.
We thought that the cancer came back just like doctor said it would and prepared for the end.
After numerous tests it turned out she had severe anemia - possibly caused by intense radiation .
Well , she will turn 86 in a couple of months.
Her only complains is that she can't walk as fast as she used to and she has brittle bones that caused her to break her arm a couple of times after a fall.
Now I got bc cancer and my only wish is to have ALL her genes,not only the bad ones ...
Dx 08/04/2004 ,IDC stage III B ,multi tumors ,7 cm,4.5 cm,6+ nodes involved,ER-/PrR-/HER2+++/ neoadjuvant 12 xTaxol,Paraplatin,Herceptin, MRM,adjuvant FEC100x5,+ 8 wks Taxol,Carboplatin, Herceptin,+ 36 weeks Herceptin
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Jan 12, 2005 12:02PM sgoat13 wrote:

What a great story. I'm sure she will help you through your journey! Best wishes to you both.
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Jan 20, 2005 11:31AM nevedale wrote:

I was diagnosed with DCIS and had my right breast removed in January of 1997. All nodes were clear and my doctor said I needed no other treatment. So far, everything has been wonderful. I thank God every day for my blessings. There is really hope after that word Breast Cancer enters your life, it is not a death sentence. Camille, I think you idea is fantastic.
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Jan 20, 2005 03:11PM raven81 wrote:

Eva--thank you so much for sharing your Mom's story. It is very inspiring, and I'm sure it gives you strength as you go through your own battle. Good luck with your treatments.

Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply, Speak Kindly, Leave the rest to God Dx 10/30/2003, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 7/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 15, 2005 09:01AM Sachi wrote:

I just wanted to bring this to the top again. I love to go back and read all these success stories!

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Feb 16, 2005 03:56PM pattycupcake wrote:

Hi, I just read your post and almost fainted. I am newly dx right in situ, left side invasive carcinoma, and am awaiting dx for an MRI due to an abnormal bone scan. Having double surgery Feb 28 , including nymph node test. I hope everything is ok for your Mom

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Feb 24, 2005 04:32AM Gabrielle wrote:

I was 44 when diagnosed 5.5 years ago. Stage IIIa, 9/21 nodes, 5.2 cm tumor, Her-2/Neu, estrogen negative. I haven't recurred - still going strong.
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Feb 28, 2005 10:38AM Sachi wrote:

Thanks so much for posting Gabrielle! That's just what I want to hear. Today is my 2 year anniversary from my first chemo. I had chemo first to shrink the tumors. There were 3 tumors in my left breast - one of them 3 cm. and one of them in a lymph node. (Who knew there were lymph nodes in the breast?!?) Anyways, chemo first and then mastectomy and then radiation. I'm feeling great and, usually, confident that I've kicked this thing in the butt! It sure is nice to read these success stories to remind myself!

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Mar 2, 2005 01:39AM L_in_PA wrote:

I just read all your postings. How wonderful for Stage III gals to read and know hope is always alive. I was diagnosed Jan 2004, and have had chemo and rads. I am currently on Tamoxifin and undecided on the hysterectomy. Onco say don't need, but amd not sure how I feel about it since I am only 44. I had 23 of 26 nodes positive 4 cm tumor er/pr+ and a rather large amount of family with history of cancer.
Thanks for the inspirations.
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Mar 2, 2005 08:46AM Gabrielle wrote:

Hi Barb,

Happy 2nd anniversary to you! Many, many more.

Here is the treatment I went thru:

I was 44 when diagnosed in December 1999. Stage IIIa, Her-2/Nue, 5.2 cm tumor, estrogen negative, 9/21 nodes.

I've been NED since then. I had a mastectomy on the cancerous breast, 4 rounds of adriamycin/cytoxan, 4 rounds of taxotere, and 25 hits of radiation. I then had a prophylactic mastectomy on the other breast (about a year later) and a prophylactic hysterectomy. I searched until I found a doctor who would give me Herceptin. I had 52 treatments after the radiation.

I took 5 months off during chemo and have been back to work since then (Federal auditor and part-time College teacher). I have 2 children who are now 17 and 14. My husband had heart failure last year and now I'm the only one working.

Prayer, aggressive treatment and a positive attitude that I will survive is what's getting me through.
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Mar 2, 2005 03:07PM pattyjane wrote:

I may be cheering too soon, but I realized today that I have been cancer free for 2 1/2 years! I was stage 3b, with 19 positive lymph nodes. Did A/C, taxotere, radiation and am now on tamoxifen. Had mastectomy on "bad boob", did treatment, then prophylactic mastectomy on "good boob". My Dr does tumor marker test every three months, and, so far results have been incredibly good! I feel great. Except for being very flat chested(no reconstruction-didn't want the hassle), and that little white pill I take twice a day, it's almost like it never happened. I keep my fingers crossed, and say prayer, every day(cause you never know), but I'm starting to feel like it's time to let my breath out, and celebrate a little.
Best to all who are going through surgery, treatment, etc. You can make it through the tunnel and there is a light at the end, and it's not a train!
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Mar 3, 2005 08:16AM Gabrielle wrote:

PattyJane and L in PA:

That's great you're both doing so well. Don't get freaked by the number of positive nodes you had. There's a book out there called "I'm Alive and the Doctor is Dead" by Sue Buchanan. She had something like 14 positive nodes and it's been more than 20 years since her diagnosis (I"m pretty sure she's still alive).

The book is hard to find in bookstores - it's easier to order it online. A cousin gave it to me and I passed it on to a friend.
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Mar 8, 2005 02:46AM Sachi wrote:

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