Saturday, October 24, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month~ Surviving Breast Cancer~

Breast Cancer Awareness ~ I am joining
Apple in Sharing how Breast Cancer has effected me and my family.
In May of 2000, I was diagnosed with very early stage Breast Cancer...a life changing experience.

I never expected to hear those words, "you have breast cancer!" At that very moment I had what you would call "an out of body experience." I could hear my husband asking the Dr. questions and then several people came rushing in and were re-assuring me that I had plenty of people around me to help me get thru this. All I could think of was - this is it for me. I was scared beyond words.

I was a very blessed girl, I had a Lumpectomy with eight weeks of radiation and five years of Tamoxifen. Besides a small scar, you cannot even tell. It was caught so very early and I was followed very closely, and still today I am checked regularly.

The support and love that I received from my family, my friends, co-workers was incredible and I know that their love and support helped me heal and get thru what I feel was the hardest time in my life. My husband went to each and every treatment and Dr. appt. with me and it made all the difference in the world. My daughter and six month old grandaughter were living with me at the time, each day when I would get up and get ready for my treatment, I would see the smile on my grandaughters little face, she gave me strength and courage - I knew I would be fine! It's been nine years for me...each day is a celebration!

Self exams and yearly mammograms are so important. Had I not done a self exam, the outcome may have been much worse. The cancer was not detected by my mammogram I just had four months earlier, I found the lump myself! One in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, its an epidemic.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't worry, but I can tell you that you look at life so much differently. You embrace your family and friends and just life itself. I love life and it is good to me. I don't sweat the small stuff as much (still working on that!). I have so much gratitude for all that I have.

Also, becoming addicted to genealogy and doing my family history has made an incredible difference in my life too, I look at "family" so much differently. One of the things I found researching my paternal line, my great aunt namesake, passed away from breast cancer ! I was blown away when I received her death certificate!

The friends, support and love from the genea-family community is priceless and I am blessed to be a part of it. I almost didn't post about this, but I feel it is important to share in hopes to helping others.

It is fitting that October is Breast Cancer Awareness and Family History month, they both have changed my life...I am here to share! Thank you Apple for your support and sharing how breast cancer has effected your life, your friend is in my thoughts and prayers. Hopefully we can help others avoid this terrible disease.


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I'm so glad you found it early and had no problems with your treatment! Like you, I was quite surprised to find that there is a history of breast cancer in my family.

Carol said...

Our Maker gives in strange ways sometimes, I have spent this October Breast Cancer Awareness doing recalls on the Mammomgram(cannot print here what I really call it - LOL) and just this week a needle biopsy. Happy to report it is clean. Have to say till the last month or so, I could probably count on one hand the number of ladies/friends I have that have fought the fight. But October brought me so many chance meetings in real life and here on the WWW that have had, fought, or are still fighting breast cancer, it takes my breath away. My Maker brought me angels of hope just when I needed them. What a plan he has.

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Oh Gini, I'm so glad you caught it early and are healthy now! I haven't had a mammogram in about 15 years, and I know I need to do it. You and Apple have inspired me! :-)

Gini said...

Thank you ladies, we have to take care of each other, my support is never ending. Elizabeth, go for it, you will be fine! If posting about this helps another, it was worth it.

Nancy said...

Thanks for posting about your breast cancer experience, Gini. Reminds me that I must make an appointment for a mammogram and, especially, do my own checks. So glad you are a survivor.

Thomas MacEntee said...

I am so glad you are a survivor and I loved reading the story of how your cancer was discovered and you were able to beat it.

Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I also have a history of breast cancer in my family. Both my paternal grandmother and her sister are survivors of five years and forty years, respectively. I will never forget the October day in 1998 when I had a fine needle biopsy on the lump I had detected. I was 23, married for just over a year, and we had just made an offer on our first house. I was scared to death. Fortunately for me it was a benign lump but it has made me diligent about checkups and self-exams.

Robin said...

I have not blogged for a while now as I returned to school this past summer. I never saw that you sent me the Friendly Blogger Award so stopped by to pick up and I happened across this post and wanted to share a wonderful video that you might like....

This is probably one of the best messages I have ever seen on Breast Cancer!

Gini said...

Thomas, Nancy, and Tracy, Thank you for your support and words of encouragement. I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to be here with all of you. Like I said, I am a lucky girl in so many ways.

Robin, you are an amazing friend, thank you for your kind words, inspiration, support and friendship. You are right, that is the best message on breast cancer - she has it right on!