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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October is Breast Cancer Month

I write about Breast Cancer on my website under Health Tips. It’s mostly statistics, prevention, treatments and reconstruction. If you're interested in that information you can check it out at http://www.beverleybateman.com/

Here I decided to blog about my personal experience with cancer. When I was forty-two I volunteered to participate in a Canadian Breast Cancer study. It was a five year program. I was assigned to yearly mammograms plus diet information. The other group just filled out a written diet information form. In the third year of the study they found a few pin pricks inside an area about the size of a dime. I had a fine-needle biopsy and it was diagnosed as cancer. I had a lumpectomy.

Nine years later I had another very small lump in the same breast. The cancer had returned. My specialist was wonderful. We had a talk and he gave the choices – and included having another lumpectomy. (Which isn’t a choice, but he gave me control over my decision) When I went back he said that really wasn’t an option – which I knew. I had a mastectomy. I didn’t have reconstruction at the time, because I didn’t think it was that important. I didn’t have chemotherapy or radiation. I took Tamoxifen for the next five years. And so far I’m still cancer free.

I did have breast reconstruction after about five years. I got tired of my prosthesis falling out in the garden and at the gym. I also couldn’t wear anything with much of a neckline because if you bent over your prosthesis fell forward and gaped. I got should have done it at the time of my mastectomy.

I know there are many other women out there who have gone through breast cancer, or are going through it. I’d love to hear your stories. Please post them.

Or if you have any questions, please ask.

And please support Breast Cancer month in any way you can.

11 comments:

  1. Didn't know you were Canadian also. I had my surgery in Jan then radiation and am now on Tamoxifen, so my journey is just beginning.

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  2. You're Canadian? Who knew? Good luck on your journey. It will be a good one. I knew you will do well. The treatment these days is excellent.
    Keep me posted.

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  3. Beverley, my niece's mother-in-law died of breast cancer a few years ago after battling it for about 5 years. All kinds of cancer is in my family.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have the breast cancer ribbon on my blog.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Sandy. Sorry about your niece's mother-in-law. The good news is there are more survivors every year.

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  4. I lost my sister nearly 30 years ago, and since that time the treatments have gotten so much better and more thorough. And since then I've known more than a dozen others personally or through friends, and not one was lost in the last 13 years. To Beverly and Victoria, give it your best fight and never believe it'll win. You can beat it for good. All my best.

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    1. Thanks Rose. You are so right, treatments have improved and more and more of us are survivors.

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  5. I had the dreaded find at 30. My breast was bleeding...leaking blood. They went into my duct and found something suspicious, so I voted to take the whole duct and part of the surrounding tissue out. Now I'm lopsided but I know that I'm better lopsided than dead.

    I'm so proud of all you have been through. Congrats on your C-free years. My best friend just went through it at 35 and is doing her dance now that she is C-free. We did the Dirty Girl Mud Run in her honor! There's pics on my FB page of us muddy and supporting Dani's Rack Pack!

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    1. OMG, at 30, that is so young, but while they have better treatment and more and more survivors, women are being diagnosed much younger, at 30 or under. I can related to the lopsided - my lumpectomy was a little lopsided, my mastectomy - big lopsided. I'm thrilled for your friend too. And I love the Dirty Girl Mud Run. Go girls go.

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  6. So happy to hear the positive outcome of your story.

    In 2009, I was diagnosed at 35. Had a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. I've been on Tamoxifen for almost four years now. The hardest part of all was worrying about how everything would affect my family. My husband lost his mother to breast cancer when we first began dating. I also have three children, who at the time ranged in age from 4-11. Needless to say, we relied on the power of prayer and our belief in God to get us through that time.

    I still know in the end, though it was difficult (and at times, still is), I was blessed every step of the way, and so much of what I've accomplished recently, I can attribute to the reality check my diagnosis gave all of us. I'm so thankful for my surgeon, my oncologist, my radiation oncologist, and all the amazing people who prayed and provided support. It really shows you how incredible people really can be.

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  7. You were also really young and it must have been so hard on your family. I'm so glad you're a survivor and yes, you were blessed, as so many of us have been.

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  8. Beverley,

    I'm so glad you were part of that study. God placed you there, it seems. Thanks for sharing your experience--you are a strong woman.

    I have a sis who is a survivor, so I wrote the heroine of my latest book as a survivor.

    I also have health issues which place me on the higher risk lists for cancer, so every survivor story helps encourage.

    God bless,
    Cathryn Cade

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