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Readers Respond: My Life Lesson From Breast Cancer

Responses: 16

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Updated October 24, 2009

Breast cancer treatment is an experience that causes many of us to slow down and think about life. It's a hard teacher, but it may give you a life lesson - or two - that sticks with you for a long time. The bonds of support between survivors are cemented with common experiences, shared struggles, celebrated victories, and words of advice. What was the more important thing that you learned during your journey with breast cancer? What life lesson would you share with others in the fight? Please share your advice here.

Grateful Life With Breast Cancer

I feel like I had a baby 7 months ago - not a cute baby - but breast cancer. She took my everything, my sleep, my food mania, my social life and more worst my intimate activity. But I realize, thankful to God I have Breast Cancer not a colon cancer, heart cancer or brain cancer. On a day that I have chemotherapy, i still can walk, can sleep and can eat . A day I have surgery, I still can walk , can sleep and can eat. A day I have Radiotherapy , I still can walk, can sleep and can eat. And then I realize, God only took 1% from my luxury, not everything. I still have family, friends, and a career. The most wonderful thing my new baby (breast cancer) did for me was to change me from a greedy person to grateful person. Nowadays, i appreciate even small things. Thank GOD, i still can walk, can sleep and can eat.
—Guest SAMSIAH.MY

A Blessing Through Breast Cancer

I am a 5 yr. survivor and life is so good. I don"t sweat the small stuff anymore and I appreciate the little things that life has to offer. Breast cancer has changed me for the better and God always has a plan for us. He is my strength and I know that trials will always come but he will always see me through them. I will forever be grateful to medical personnel and complete strangers for their kindness.
—Guest Patty Long

God has provided me all the support

I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and currently under herceptin maintenance therapy.Under went surgery and 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Ran away from the proposal of radiation therapy as it sounded too scary.Had and still having a wonderful support system comprising of my mother who is 80+, my brothers and sisters, friends, nephews and nieces and my boss who ensured that I do not run after my request for financial support from my office before each cycle of the costly treatment. I take my diagnosis as an opportunity to re-examine my understanding of people and God's grace.
—Guest BANI BARAL

Peoples Attitudes Can Be Ugly

I experienced the good, bad & ugly (very, very ugly) treatment from people during my cancer experience. Does any one want to hear about it? It was mainly to do with my employers.
—Guest Dianne

My life lesson with cancer:-(

I won't go into the specifics since my typing is limited. But I will say that I had a choice of getting a reexcision to my bad breast and also getting my good breast checked for they saw something on the MRI. Well since I do not like to travel and would of had to for this, I chose to take both breasts off. Afterwards they said there was no cancer in either one. I was so depressed for having done this to myself. My life lesson is to think things out more carefully for once your breasts are gone, they are gone for good. Yes, with the lumpectomy I could of had it come back for I was stage 3, grade 3 and had 46 out of 52 cancerous lymp-nodes. But now I will never know if I would of been okay for I didn't give myself the chance to find out. I panicked and let my fears get the best of me. My advice to anyone is please take the time to think things out. I am okay now and have not had a relapse. Its been since Jan. 2009 that I had the first sugery and the second one July 2009.
—Guest jeanne glenn

about my breast cancer

I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinaoma, mixed mucinous type. This was in January of 2009. I was grade 3, stage 3 with 46 out of 52 cancerous lymph-nodes. I also had vascular invasion present. This was all in my left breast with a 1.2 cm tumor. I had a choice of a lumpectomy or mastectomy and so I chose a lumpectomy. Well all was fine till I went to see the radiologist for my radiation to my breast. He said on my pathology report I had microscopic satellitosis multiple ones located a distance form the main tumor mass. His first comment was that I should of taken that breast off. Well the next session with him he scheduled me to have another MRI and also a pet scan. Then he said for me to have another reexcision for I had a microsatellite of tumor identified less than 1mm to the surgical margin of resection. Also on the MRI something had shown up on my other breast and he wanted me to have a biopsy of that for they did not know if it was cancer.
—Guest jeanne glenn

Surviving Stage four Breast Cancer

It all started 8 years ago when I found a lump the size of a Walnut in my right breast. I had no health insurance, so I treated it homeopathically. 8 years later it had metastasized into my lymph nodes and lungs, I was weak and having trouble breathing. My mother told me there were programs for Cancer patients, so knowing what it was going to be, I told her that she would have to understand that it WAS cancer and would now be confronted with it. (Me too) I was just staying away from a diagnosis because I didn't want to know. Well as soon as I got an exam, the doctor said "You do know what this is - right?" And I told him yes, but I wasn't willing to do chemo and Radiation. After many tests and getting my lungs drained of 500ccs of fluid, I went to the Oncologist and he had me do a petscan, and put me on a hormone blocker (Tamoxifen). I had the whole church pray for me. People all over the world put me on their prayer chains. After 4 months, My last pet scan was clear, Thank God!
—Guest Gia Lamb

It's all precious

I now look at ordinary things and situations with wonder. I love to walk before the sunrise and stare at the moon and stars. I love to laugh myself silly playing with my dogs. I enjoy washing vegetables, reading poetry, talking on the phone with friends, driving on a two-lane country highway, texting the love of my life, and trying to never take anything for granted. It is all so precious.
—Guest Becky

What I have learned thru BC

I have learned that life is too short to sweat the small stuff (and mostly it is all small stuff)!!! I found that after my diagnosis in 2004, I looked back on my life with different eyes. I decided to become closer to my family & friends, cherish my grandchildren, but best of all I found God. He is my strength, my rock and my reason for living. My wish for all who are affected by this terrible disease is inner peace, love and acceptance, and most of all to get closer to Him.
—Guest CLMG

3-yr breast cancer survivor

One never knows when his/her reality can change drastically. Be thankful for whatever health you DO have now. If one has health then there is ALWAYS hope. Become your own best friend. Turn away from negative thoughts and dwell on positive outcomes. I nourish and appreciate my kids and grandkids. I live alone and away from my family so I try to nourish the time we do spend together and do "my own thing" to complete my bucket list of travel spots. I just got back from Hawaii and plan to see places around here and when I retire - will travel and visit loved one's till I tire of it. I have a base home and will welcome change as a positive reality of creativity and excitement. Life is too short to not live it right now.
—Guest Gemini

I was never alone.

Immediately before I received the result of the mammogram, God let me know in my spirit, "It is not the end, but the start of a new beginning." So I received the news from the doctor without being stunned. I will say that I looked at the world through different eyes, not getting stressed over little things, like waiting in check-out lines. I felt a calmness. I believed everything was going to be alright. I had the biopsy, lumpectomy and radiation in 2008. Everything looks good. Jesus was my comfort and friend through what could have been a very dark place, but He made it light. There was a lady that made pillows for the UNC Rex Cancer Center and I received one after surgery. What a blessing! Now my friends and I make and donate pillows for breast cancer patients and children in the hospital. It may seem so minor to do a little kindness for someone else that you don't do it. But that kindness can mean the world to the one who needs it. Love one another. That = happines
—Guest Deborah

Acceptance

A good friend of mine recently said "People plan and G-d laughs". Bottom line is that we cannot plan out our entire lives. Belive it or not, some events are out of our control! I obviously did not plan to have breast cancer, but when I was diagnosed I completely accepted the life challenge. Turns out, it wasn't much of a challenge at all. After losing my Mom to the disease and watching my sister go through it with me (she also later died from the disease), I knew what to expect and I accepted what turned out to be a beautiful journey for me. By accepting the diagnosis and all that followed, I moved forward in a positive way...met some incredible doctors, nurses, and other patients and now manage a support group to provide other cancer survivors a safe and fun place to exchange information and experiences. I think I turned an otherwise grim experience into a positive one by learning the art of acceptance. My wish is that other women may do the same. Peace.
—SPE7161

Life Lesson

I felt the fog lift after being diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I began to see things more clearer and I welcomed everything with open arms. I also strengthed my relationships with my husband, children, parents and friends. You look at yourself differently, and I looked at myself more positively. Whether it was surgery, dr. appts, grocery shopping,chemo...whatever it was, the news was never bad for me, rather a way to make it positive. I also strongly wanted to share my story and support anyone who needed support. I wanted to arm myself with knowledge and I did. Knowledge is power, but so is being positive. Having strong faith is the best defense. I also learned to never take anyone or anything for granted and I always tell people everyday how much they mean to me and how much I love them. The journey is your own...all you have to do is write it out!
—Guest staceycoffing

God was there

Before I knew who He was, God was there. When I had given up on life, God was there. When the docs wanted to give me the most aggressive chemo available & I refused any chemo at all, God was there. When I did not want to be rescued, God was there. The most important life lesson I have learned from having breast cancer is that God was there & He is here & He will never leave me.
—Guest Jacqueline

Life Lessons after Cancer

I have learned that you don't take life for granted, and I am on my 5th year Cancer free, it has also made me stronger as a person. Having Cancer is not a death sentence, just think positive, get good support and educate yourself.
—Guest Lesley Ann

what life is about

i learned that life is really about relationships - not about working harder, buying more stuff, getting a big raise, etc. life is about people: love them and spend time with them while you can. if you can't love them then gently move on. work at your most important relationships - don't take anybody for granted, we are not guaranteed a certain amount of time on the earth.
—szebaimei
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