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Cheryl’s Story (Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis)

Cheryl's Story (Breast Cancer and MS) LRA few years ago I found a lump in my breast, I went in immediately to my doctor who said it was probably nothing, but to have it checked further. After a mammogram and ultrasound, I was told I needed to see a surgeon for a biopsy. The surgeon insisted it was nothing, but said he thought it would be best to remove it.

The surgery was uneventful and I went home that same day. A few days later the fateful call came.  It was the surgeon’s office calling to tell me that I had cancer. I had a couple of surgeries and many procedures and underwent radiation for 6 weeks, daily. My pathology report was full of precancerous cells and cancer. At the time I chose to follow the oncologist’s orders, without researching on my own. After spending two years worrying about the cancer coming back every time I felt a lump, I decided to have a double mastectomy with reconstruction.

Hearing the word “cancer” is such a scary thing, but it doesn’t mean that your life is over. If anything, cancer has allowed me to live. I have been given a gift of knowing how fragile life can be. Hearing that I had cancer opened my eyes to this gift. I don’t take for granted all the things I used to.  I appreciate every day I have. I was given an opportunity to see how much I am loved, how many people care for me. It is an amazing thing.

I don’t sit around thinking about what COULD happen. I live in the now. Keeping a positive attitude is so important. Not all days are perfect, but I know that tomorrow will be better.  Having been diagnosed with MS and breast cancer both, has made me stronger. I know what I don’t want to happen, so I fight to keep my life as normal as possible. Not allowing these diseases to take over is what keeps me fighting. I will not allow them to beat me. There is a famous quote by Anne Frank that I find appropriate for my life, “I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.” There is still beauty left for me to see, so much more in my life that I want to achieve.

Having had cancer has made me a survivor. I think we are all survivors. We all have adversity to overcome. How we chose to handle it is what defines our character. There will be many more obstacles in my life, many more bumps in the road. I will take each as they come. I will face them all head on, fight with all of my being, because I know I have something to fight for. I see how life can be fragile, but each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes even more.

Cheryl
Wisconsin
Submitted 11-16-11

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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