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Survivor Stories

Do you have a Survivor Story?

Each survivor's story shows how she confronted her fears, found her own source of strength and hope, and discovered a way to endure her trial through breast cancer. Each unique narrative communicates a story of renewed strength and HOPE. No one can ever really prepare you for what you will experience on your own journey, but as you read what these strong women consider the most important things they learned from breast cancer, you can benefit from their wisdom and experiences.

Share how you survived breast cancer so that you may inspire others with your message of HOPE. Your story should be 500 words or less, and , with your permission, may be published on the web site.  Contact us here and let us know about your story!

Journeys of Hope

A Test of Faith

by Annie Franklin

annieI have so many friends who have gone through what I am going through now and they are my heroes. They have all shown me love and support. On December 1, 2008, I went into surgery and told Dr. Wesley Barry to do whatever was needed. I ended up with a lumpectomy of the right breast. The mass was removed and there was no lymph node involvement. I was sent to the cancer center thinking I was to have radiation only, but when I saw my oncologist, Dr. Davidson, it was determined that I also needed chemotherapy due to the grade and aggressiveness of the cancer. I became torn and my faith was put to the test again. I am thinking that if the cancer was small and if the doctor got it all, why chemo? I had to pray hard about what choice to make. I was going back and forth in my mind to have chemo or not, when I heard it again; "Where is your faith?" And God gave me the answer. I completed my chemotherapy on May 22, 2009, and completed my radiation therapy on August 7, 2009. Through it all my faith was tested but never lost. So I leave this thought with you: Have faith and take one day at a time...and just smile!

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The Chosen One

by Donna McCord


As the Sgt. Major told the wives, "I promise you, something will happen while your soldier is deployed to Iraq. Your children may get sick, your dishwasher may quit working, the cows may get out of the pasture ---- but something WILL GO WRONG. And, when your husband gets home, he will not be the same man he was when he left." I thought, now what in the world could happen that would be hard to handle by myself! Little did I know that "I" would not be the same person when he returned home. For years my mom and I would go for our yearly mammograms together. We would go to lunch, shop and make it a "fun day". Then my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and our "fun day" wasn't spent as usual. Instead, we were going to doctors' appointments, surgeries, hospital stays, chemotherapy & radiation treatments - praying for a miracle. I had no idea that soon my daughter would be on that same journey with me.

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Let Go and Let God

by Dana Miller
Winter 2008

letgoletgodRed, brown, blonde, short or long??? Sounds like any typical woman at her hairdresser trying to decide what to do with her hair.....only I was at a wig shop. Diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma just a few weeks earlier at age 36, my life had been turned upside down. Or so I thought... I "accidentally" found a lump in my breast. Scared, I called my doctor right away. I made my husband go with me but was told that it was nothing to worry about, just fibrocystic changes.

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Painful Blessings

Cindy Edgar
Summer 2009

painfulblessingsLet me begin by telling you that there is absolutely no history of breast cancer in my family. None. Not even with the aunts who married into the family. We do, however, have fibrocystic breast disease. I was first diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease when I was twenty-three, told to cut out caffeine, and keep doing my self exams regularly. Lumps and bumps were normal and frequent. So, when I first noticed the lump in my left breast at the age of thirty-three, I wasn't too frightened. I made an appointment with my gynecologist, who checked it and sent me on to have a mammogram, just in case. The mammogram showed a tremendous amount of fibrocystic tissue in both breasts.

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Faith, Family & Friends

Betty Cannon
Summer 2008

Betty CannonAs my husband, Terry, and I sat on the love seat in Dr. Cindy Lorino's office, we held hands. Dr. Lorino entered with compassion in her eyes. Terry held one hand and Dr. Lorino held the other. I knew it was coming.... and it did. "It is breast cancer". One tear rolled out of my right eye in slow motion. We were prepared to hear this, I thought, but still it was hard. As I looked to Terry he gave me that look that we were in this thing together. I believe the only reason I didn't completely fall apart was that my faith had been strengthened in knowing that my family & friends were praying for us as we got the diagnosis.

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Despair - Hope

by Sadie Chapman
Spring 2009

despair hopeA phrase of wisdom states, "Your attitude determines your altitude." With the right attitude, a person can go far and rise to greater heights, no matter what challenges or obstacles are faced in life. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago, it was an overall positive attitude throughout the entire ordeal that helped me to cope with this disease. I knew God had sustained me through this temporary, rough roadblock.

It was after receiving the results of my annual mammogram, which showed an abnormality, I calmly said to myself, "Oh Lord, what is it now?" Several days later, more tests had to be done. I remember sitting in the waiting room, praying to myself, Lord don't let it be breast cancer. When the doctor came in, he explained that the results were not good. The diagnosis was breast cancer. I could see the sadness on my daughter's face. I looked at my daughter, Nikki, then to the doctor, and with a voice of assurance, I calmly said, "Let's go on to the next level."

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Conquering Challenges…Sharing Survival

by Beverly Helton
Fall 2009

BeverlyHeltonI was well-acquainted with my breasts; after all, I had fibrocystic breasts, had 4 lumpectomy surgeries, yearly mammograms starting in my 20's, more needle aspirations than I want to remember, numerous ultrasounds, and I performed self breast exams. I found the lump/mass myself–and knew it was different. Before March 13, 2008, I was a very healthy person. That quickly changed as Dr. Debra Chiarella, radiologist, so caringly told me that the core biopsies and MRI confirmed breast cancer in my left breast.

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