August 15, 2014
LBBC would like to introduce our newest guest blogger Laura Ross. Today she shares her breast cancer journey and how she became familiar with LBBC’s programs and services, specifically our annual Fall conference.
Driving on I-95 South in Philadelphia, late October 2011, I passed a billboard for Breast Cancer awareness month. “Ah” I said, “I never want to be part of that club!” One month later I would be handed my membership, and would begin a journey that changed my life.
November 18, at age 41, while snuggling my 3-year-old daughter Aliya, her head hit a hard pea sized spot in my upper right breast. Calling my other daughters, Gianna and Isabella, into the room, I asked them if they could feel it too, and indeed, they said they could. I didn’t really think too much of it. I had never even had a mammogram. I called my gynecologist and made an appointment. She too, could feel it, and scheduled the mammogram for early December.
After the testing was over, the doctor who performed the biopsy looked at me and said, “This is definitely breast cancer, when you get the results on Monday expect it to be cancer.” Uh. OK. I was completely shocked. I was completely alone. Read the rest of this entry »
August 7, 2014
Today we’d like to introduce our newest LBBC blogger, Stephanie Hulse, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple-Negative breast cancer at 17 weeks pregnant. Here she shares her story about navigating her diagnosis and treatment while pregnant with her 4th child…
Our family was almost complete. My husband and I agreed early on that we wanted to have a lot of children and we simply adored the 3 that we had, so you can imagine how excited we were when we found out that baby number 4 was on the way! Our children were young at the ages of 6, 4 and 1 so we waited until the second trimester to tell them about the new baby and we waited a few weeks more to tell our families. Everyone was SO excited. It’s because of the new baby that I was seen by my midwife; I knew a I had a lump in my left breast but since I was breastfeeding I thought it was a blocked duct. The lump had been there for quite some time and cancer had never crossed my mind. They urged me to try to massage it to unblock the duct, so I did, and it grew. This immediately raised a red flag for my midwife who urged me to have a biopsy. I went, and at 17 weeks pregnant, the verdict was in: Breast Cancer.
On January 22, 2013 my world stopped as I spoke to my midwife over the phone. “It looks like your biopsy will need some follow-up” she told me, “you’ll want to write this down.” It’s amazing how my hand kept writing the words she was telling me, but my mind had stopped paying attention to what she was saying. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. “Carcinoma, that sounds like cancer” I thought to myself, while continuing to write. That’s when it began to sink in. The lump that I had was cancerous? How could that be? I’m 30! I have no family history of cancer! And on top of everything else, I’m pregnant. As I’m writing down information about Triple-Negative breast cancer, I can feel the baby kicking inside me. So many things ran through my mind all at once, not only about my fate, but her fate as well. My husband walked through the door and he instinctively knew the news was bad; between sobs, I was able to choke together the words “it’s cancer”.
Read the rest of this entry »
July 9, 2014
Wendy Hazlett, LBBC friend and long-term Silpada Field Development Director of the Northeast Region shares her breast cancer story and why she’s looking forward to LBBC’s Yoga on the Steps: Kansas City for the 2nd year in a row!
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2011. It was through a routine mammogram and I still thank God each day for the expertise of my radiologist! I never thought “why me?”, but instead jumped right in to “beat this”. We had been thoughtfully watching a lump on my left breast throughout the years, so when the mammogram came back saying that I had cancer in my right breast and my surgeon recommended double mastectomies, I followed the recommendation and had a successful surgery in August 2011.
I had my first reconstruction surgery that December – which my body rejected. This caused me to undergo 3 additional surgeries before being able to close this chapter in my life in December 2012.
Read the rest of this entry »
July 3, 2014
If you missed a Living Beyond Breast Cancer community meeting, webinar or other educational event, you can find that program’s podcast and/or presentation on lbbc.org. Learn about the LBBC Event Archive and check out a few podcasts and presentations from recent events.
You had a doctor’s appointment or needed to get treatment. The weather and your distance to the community meeting location made it difficult for you to join us. You had to work through your lunch break. Schedule conflicts happen.
This is why some LBBC programs are recorded, transcribed and posted on our website – so that you can listen to or read them when your schedule permits. Our LBBC Event Archive has an extensive listing of podcasts, presentations and/or transcripts of events from 2010-present.
Check out some of our recent podcasts and presentations: Read the rest of this entry »
June 20, 2014
Tiffany Mannino is back sharing another ‘Dear Lola’ journal entry with us; letters penned to her future daughter about her breast cancer experience. This time she shares her thoughts and feelings about being halfway through her chemotherapy treatment…
April 19, 2010
I know it has been quite a long time since I’ve written. Although I have thought about you every single day, the truth is, I have not wanted to share with you how I’ve been feeling. I always envisioned that what I would write to you would inspire and uplift you as I am a firm believer in finding the positive in every situation. Truthfully, I’m having an incredibly difficult time finding the light in the midst of darkness at the moment as I’m going through such a challenging time in my life.
The last time I wrote to you was on the eve of my first chemo treatment. I was filled with great anxiety and anticipation. Well, now I should be celebrating because I’ve reached a milestone…my halfway mark. It has been eight weeks, and I have completed four of my eight treatments. Although I’m thrilled to be halfway done, I’ll admit, that doesn’t replace the dread I feel that I still have four more! I’m not going to sugarcoat it, chemo totally sucks!
Going through chemo for me has hands-down been the most difficult part of the breast cancer journey and truthfully, the hardest thing I thing I’ve ever faced. Each treatment has brought on a different set of challenges to face.
The first treatment made me violently ill to the point I was practically vomiting up my intestines. I remember lying in bed at 3 o’clock in the morning writhing and crying out to my mom, begging her to make it stop. In between tears, I pleaded with God to take away my pain. At that moment, my mother wrapped her entire body around me and with tears in her eyes, just held me like a baby. It is amazing to me as a 36 year old adult, how much I wanted and needed my mother as if I were a little child once again. In that moment, I realized that we never, ever outgrow our mothers and the need for their love and care. Read the rest of this entry »