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Dawn’s Story (Breast Cancer, Bone Cancer)

Dawn's Story Breast and Bone Cancer LRHi, my name is Dawn, and I am 53 years old. I was diagnosed with (the beast) breast cancer on the right side in 2004. When the doctor told me, I let one tear slide down my face and that was it! I was ready for battle. So I had the surgery, had the radiation, had the chemo. The surgical site got infected and I lost 3/4 of my breast. For a woman who is 42D, that is a lot. That, and only that, was the embarrassing part for me.

Now I guess you have to know me, because I am kind of kooky. When my hair started falling out, my husband and I had fun with it. First I had a mohawk, then the sides were zig-zagged, then we did all kinds of goofy things with it. Then we finally shaved it all off. I had the wigs and the bandannas with the bangs, but luckily I have a good shaped head and went around bald. Besides, I loved the looks I would get from the little kids. Ha ha! Sometimes I would take my teeth out too for good measure! I didn’t mind not having to shave my legs anymore. Woooohoo! When my eyelashes went I bought fake ones; no biggie. Okay, back to my story. The first day of chemo I went and ate all the tacos I could because I knew I was gonna lose my appetite later, (lost them puppies about half hour later). But I was never sick again. I got that dragged down feeling but that was no biggie. I went for 5 and 1/2 years getting mammograms every three months (OUCH) and everything was good. They say after you make the 5 year period you should be safe.

Then I broke a rib and the pain would just not go away, so I went for an x-ray and the beast was back. This was in 2009. This time it was bone cancer stage 4. They gave me 3-5 years to live. I have it in my spine, lower and upper, and ribs. This time I did cry. Not because I was afraid of the pain or even scared to die, but because I know I will be going to a better place. I cried for my family and friends because they would be left behind. I started getting into crafts to make things for all my family and friends so they could have something to remember me by. I asked God for more grandchildren to love and to let me know them (I had 3 granddaughters already) and now I have 4 more. Thank you, God. I go monthly now to fight the beast with my treatments.  As I told you I am a fighter (just ask my ex) lol. It is now 2012 and I found a place that does prosthesis for bras and they even have prosthetic boobs! Hurray!! I just had a pet scan and my bones are regenerating and the tumors are shrinking!!! Its like a miracle! My family and I all cried this time. I am beating the beast.

It’s an uphill battle because I also have fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis so I am in pain all the time. I used to stay in bed a lot a feel sorry for myself, but I have been given a third chance at life and I plan not to waste any of it!! I’m still busy doing crafts which is something I really enjoy. I try everything; crocheting, paper crafts, scrapbooking, card making, and bow making for all the girls. I just try to keep busy. I did have to quit my job and fight for disability and I can’t do much housework because  it’s too hard. So my house is a mess. But big deal, I am here!

The place I go to for treatments is wonderful! That’s how I found out you can get a breast prosthesis and free bras  from the government if you are on Medicare. They have all kinds of good doctors and information. They are getting a masseuse and a chiropractor, too. They have helped a lot. They even have wigs there. This time I am not losing my hair, but it came back funny. The back is really curly and the front and sides are poker straight! What can I say, I told you I was kooky! So the finishing part of my story (I refused to say the end of my story) is to FIGHT THE BEAST DO NOT LET IT BOTHER YOU. Miracles do happen and  science is coming up with new medicines all of the time. If you’re in pain, ask for pain pills. Do not suffer if you don’t have to. ENJOY LIFE, LAUGH OFTEN, LOVE YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR FRIENDS. And talk to people about what you’re going through. Some people don’t know what to say so they will shy away from you. Talk to them, tell them its okay, and if you’re scared, share that with them too. They are your friends and family. They really want to be there for you but don’t know how or what to do. Or you could always write to me. I am here and I have been through it. I will listen and laugh or cry with you if you want. Just never never give up.

Submitted  3-23-2012

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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  1. Lisa Elerbrock

    So love your attitude!

  2. Viviane Grant

    Hey Dawn, good for you to fight back, you will beat this crap. I got diagnosed with breast cancer on 7-27-2012. had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation, so far I am cancer free. My husband and I where so happy I beat the hell out of this cancer. Then cancer did fin d his way into our live again, my husband got diagnosed with colorectal cancer. But it is a cancer that is easy to cure according the doctor. He only has to do chemoradiation for 5 to 6 weeks, 3 weeks recovering and he to will be fine. All of us are going to beat the hell out of this cancer, we are fighters. You go Lady, good luck and God will be with you.

  3. pat zarcone

    Dear Dawn: i was so very happy to read about your journey. i, too, in 2012, was disgnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. i had the chemo first to shrink it, then the mastectomy, and then radiation for 6 weeks. it is now may of 2012 and my mamm came back perfect and also my mri of the chest. i had a pet scan last week and the results were also great, thank God!! i still get scare once in a while if i think too much, but i also try to stay busy and try not to reflect on it too much. i would love to hear from you some day. you are truly an inspiration to me and i know i can keep my thoughts in the right direction with your help. may God bless you and all of our ‘sisters’! sincerely, pat

  4. Elizabeth

    Dawn, I am 59 years old and was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer last January, 2012. I’ve been through the whole thing, too. Chemo, mastectomy, and radiation. (I swear someday I am going to lose it with someone who says “why did’t you get a lumpectomy?” I wasn’t given a choice!) They thought I was cancer free, but my first checkup of 2013, a blood marker showed something wrong. After a month of tests, they said I have cancer on my spine. Radiation again, and now 2 antiestrogen drugs (one a pill, one an injection), instead of just the one. And they now consider my cancer stage IV instead of III. But, with the help Of God, I’m going to win. Actually, I can’t lose, because I, too, am bound for a better place, but I have a few things I want to accomplish, first.
    I’ve had a lot of support from friends and family. Not only was my own church praying, but I had people in other parts of the country, people I never met praying for me. One out-of-state couple who were passing through, recognised my name on the prayer list at my church because their church was praying for me, too. They were surprised when they asked someone and were told, that’s the lady playing the keyboard. They were from the hometown of one of my relations.
    When I was first diagnosed, I thought I would never see grandchildren and never see my youngest graduate from college. But, this spring I saw my first grandchild and my youngest just graduated this week. I have had to give up teaching, that I loved, but before the recurrence, I was doing some vounteer work at a small christian school, and plan to return to doing that when I am able. Oh, and due to ongoing fatigue, my house is a mess, too. And my hair came back in weird, too. It went from long brown and wavy, with just a little grey, to all grey and superfine and a mix between curly and frizzy. But, it is hair! You are right, miracles do happen. Sometimes we get the miracle we ask for and sometimes God gives us a different miracle, but they happen. We never walk through this alone.

  5. Sissie Floyd

    Dawn you sound like a very strong, courageous person and I hope that you will contact me as I would love to be your friend as I am fighting my battle that started out as colon cancer and it had moved into my lymph nodes.n You can find me on fb under Sissie Floyd and I live in Anson, TX anyone else reading this that would like to be friends I welcome you and hopefully we can all help each other through this battle.

  6. Mary Blankenship

    You hang in there. We all have to become fighters with something. I have a lot of health problems too. I have to fight with one of them every day. But I know god will see me through. I’m a winner either way if I go or if I stay. Stay strong and keep fighting. God loves you.

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