The Diagnosis
I’ll never forget that day… I was diagnosed with Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma.

Every woman has a story. A day she will never forget. She knows where she was, what she was doing, and how the news was delivered. For some it begins with the discovery of a lump and the subsequent worry. For others, it begins with a routine screening that ends up not quite “routine”. Women remember the moment they got the call or were told the news, and so often, everything that was said after the words “You have cancer,” becomes blurred, unheard, and unprocessed.

I was going to look forward. I wasn't going to look back. I wasn't going to give cancer prominence in my life. It was not going to be my disease. It was going to be a diagnosis but not my disease. -- Kathy I.

That moment and those words are the dividing line between life before cancer and life after cancer. Will life ever be the same? Suddenly there are questions to ask, medical research to conduct, appointments to make, and decisions about treatment to be made. It’s important to understand the specifics of your cancer diagnosis. This enables you to take the first steps

Every woman can tell you her story, because it is the stitching that binds the tapestries of her before cancer and her after cancer lives.

"I have no family history of breast cancer. I never thought of myself as someone who was in the category of getting breast cancer at such a young age."
"I went for my regular mammogram. My doctor called me back..."
"I'm 33 years old. I've done everything right. I eat healthy. I exercise. I run marathons. I can't have cancer. It can't happen to me."
"I found the lump myself. They did a biopsy and a mammogram and a couple of days later they confirmed that it was breast cancer."
"I was diagnosed with Infiltrating Mammary Carcinoma. You hear about cancer but the cliché is that it always happens to other people."
"It was a very unique time for us. We had just come off the excitement and stress of planning and having a wedding."
"She immediately said, 'I feel something here. Have you felt it?' I was 33.
"You could tell that everybody was looking at something and I was the last to know what they were looking at. I just knew that something wasn't right."
The C-Word
I don’t think you can hear the word cancer and not be scared. -- Jeanna B.
I just wish it wasn’t the word cancer

“You have breast cancer.” For many, once they hear the word “cancer”, they believe that their life will never be the same. It’s hard to articulate what those words feel like and what we equate them with. Cancer is such a frightening word. Many of us immediately equate “the c word” with death, chemotherapy, hair loss, nausea, and in the case of breast cancer, losing our breasts.

We view cancer to be a formidable enemy, and we believe ourselves needing to engage in a battle, a war. After the initial shock subsides, it’s important to recognize that cancer is a journey, not a battle. There are many reasons to be hopeful. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of women living healthy lives beyond breast cancer. It’s important to understand your diagnosis, the specifics of your cancer, and your treatment options. The “c-word” is a challenge. Surround yourself with the best medical team and focus on taking one step at a time.

"It was a very big shock. It's very confusing when you get diagnosed. Your life turns upside down."
"It's a scary thing...you say cancer. You don't know how people will take it. Some people wouldn't want to be caught up in that."
"The word cancer...I just couldn't get it out of my mind. I didn't think I was going to die from it, but I didn't think it was going to be as hard as it was."
"The "C-Word" just isn't as scary anymore, maybe that's because I've already been through all of the bad parts of it."
"What I remember most is that feeling that my whole body was on fire from the adrenaline rush."
"Just think of all of the movies you've seen about cancer. When I get this diagnosis, that's what I'm thinking. That's going to be me."
"I'll never forget that day. I have cancer...it's this word that really is loaded. It terrified me at the time."
"When you're told that you have breast cancer, for me it was like a kick in the stomach. I walked around in suspended animation."
Before You Go...

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