Surviving Breast Cancer – Suzanne’s Story
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. That being said, there are 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today. Suzanne Nolan is one of them. This is her story in her own words:
"I was diagnosed in June of 2010 at the age of 41. I had had a mammogram at age 40 and it was normal. But about 4 months after that I started to notice a hard spot around a cyst in my left breast. I self diagnosed it as fibrotic changes from the cyst and didn't do anything about it. As the year went on the area became bigger and more tender, so at my yearly OB check up I mentioned it to my doctor. He sent me for another mammogram and it came back positive. I was diagnosed with DCIS, which is a non-invasive cancer but it was large enough that I would have to have a mastectomy. I chose to have both sides removed. After surgery I got more bad news: they found a second cancer from the pathology report called HER2 which is a very aggressive cancer. So now I would have to have chemo and radiation. Long story short 2 years later with reconstruction surgeries behind me I am cancer free and enjoying my new boobies ( I upgraded my size :))"
"My advice to all women out there is don't ignore any changes you notice in your breast no matter how small. The extra time for tests beats having to be told you have cancer. For all those newly diagnosed women, keep a good support group around you. The process is a journey that will have it's highs and lows. The best advice I got was from my oncologist. Once I had surgery and found out about the second cancer I though I was going to die. At that point she told me, "look the cancer is out of you, you don't have cancer anymore everything we are going to do is just to keep it from coming back". That was the point that turned everything around for me. At that point I was a survivor!"
Share your story of how breast cancer changed your life, and what you have done to help, heal, or survive. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and please attach a few photos. It is my hope that your story will give people who are fighting the fight hope.