"My breast cancer journey started in October of 2002 at the age of 48. I was diagnosed with IDC in my left breast. When I received the phone call I thought my life was over, but fortunately this was not the case. My cancer was stage 1 and I had the standard lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy. I opted for Lupron therapy over chemotherapy and had 7 weeks of daily radiation.
"The first day of radiation they had a white board that had the words www.breastcancer.org. I was so blessed to find this site. I learned about staging, nutrition, current research, etc. It made me feel in charge as I felt I was losing control. The next 10 years were filled with more lumpectomies, aspirations, MRIs, ultrasounds, and scares.
"In October of 2011 I was diagnosed with atypical ductal hyperplasia in my right breast. Although not malignant, it raised my chances of cancer by 40% in my lifetime. This was not acceptable, so again I turned to BCO for more research and support. So, in November of 2012, I had a prophylactic double mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction in New Orleans.
"I am so blessed to have found BCO and feel so honored to be part of this. The strength of the women here amazes me. I admire and lean on many to this day. Lasting bonds have been formed, and I have personally met some of these wonderful women. They have been my true inspiration. I can honestly say I don’t know what I would have done without the support of this site, and the people who populate it.
"The scare of breast cancer will never go away, but I have learned that I can continue a meaningful and fulfilling life as I continue to grow into the women I am today and will be in the future. Thank you so much for that, BCO, your guidance and support has changed my life forever."
-- Cherrie, age 59, Portland, MI, USA