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Michelle’s Story (Breast Cancer)

Michelle's Story (Breast Cancer)My name is Michelle and I am 38 years old. I lost my mother to cancer (mesothelioma – caused by asbestos exposure) on August 16, 1998, 2 days after my 25th birthday,  when she was just 50 years old. Then, on August 26, 2011, two weeks after my 38th birthday, I was diagnosed with Stage IIb, Grade III, triple-negative invasive infiltrating ductal carcinoma. After learning I would lose my hair (it was at the middle of my back at the time), I decided that as an act of defiance against this nasty disease, I would cut my hair, donate it to Locks of Love, and shave my head as opposed to letting chemo decide when I lost it.

Two-and-a-half weeks later on September 15th, I underwent a breast-conserving lumpectomy to remove a 3.2 cm tumor.  On October 14, 2011, I began an aggressive, dose-dense chemo regimen that consisted of 4 rounds of adriamycin/cytoxan and 4 rounds of taxol. Each was administered every two weeks with bone marrow boosting shots the day after each treatment. Chemo concluded on January 27, 2012 at which point I began my radiation therapy which consisted of 33 treatments with 5 boosts and this concluded on April 5th.

I am married with three teenage sons and with their support, along with that of my daddy, my brother, and countless friends and co-workers, I have started the long road to remission and proudly declare myself a breast cancer survivor! Shortly after starting chemo, I registered for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day here in Dallas in November. I will be walking in both the North Texas Affiliate and Dallas Affiliate Races for the Cure in June and October, respectively, with my sons at my side. I feel that as long as I am able to walk against breast cancer, I am beating it. There is hope for me, as well as every single breast cancer survivor out there. I will walk, fight, and defy my way to being cancer-free as, in my mind, the alternative simply isn’t an option.

Michelle M
Texas
Submitted 6-2-2012

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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2 comments

  1. Hey Michelle!
    I was diagnosed last Sep with stage 1, grade 3, HER2 positive. I am a 34 yr old wife and mother of two little girls! I had two lumpectomies to remove the 1.7 cm tumor. I did 4 rounds of AC every 3 wks. I then did 12 rounds of taxol weekly. I chose to do the exact same thing with my hair! I donated it the night before my first dose. This past Friday I finished my last dose of taxol. Of course I have to continue herceptin for another 9 months every 3wks because of my HER2 status. I will start radiation in 6wks. As of now, I’m considered to be in “remission” which is a word I HATE!!! I
    A SURVIVOR and will continue to be!!! My baby girls need me as much as I need them. God Bless you on your journey! It’s definitely life changing. Now that chemo is over I’m feeling a little anxious about it. And I’m kind of unsure what I’m supposed to do now? Go on with life? What is life now?! It’s SO VERY different! Guess it will be a long journey to the spiritual healing!

  2. Hi my name is Mary and I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Breast Cancer (triple negative) in December 2012. I too, had a lumpectomy and they also removed all of my lymph nodes because they found this “Ugly C” in one of my lymph nodes. I started chemo in January with four of the Adiramycin/Cytoxin every other week. I am now just about at the end of my chemo journey. I have had ten rounds of Taxol/Herceptin and will complete my Taxol on June 7, 2013. I will continue my Herceptin for an entire year. My Oncologist is giving a four to six week break and then six weeks of radiation will begin. Although I was devastated when I first learned of my diagnoses, I have learned to be grateful for each and every day that you have. I am a mother of two boys (one 19 and one 15) and through it all, I feel that I am one of the lucky ones. And what I mean by that is, at least I am able to fight this ugly disease. I know many that were unable. So with that being said, I feel like a survivor already. I will not let this control me or get me down. Life is so short. I am so grateful for my husband, family and friends. I am one luck girl! Good luck to you Michelle! We are in this together. Much love to all of my fellow breast cancer survivors!

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