Celebrating Cancer survivors and fighters one photo at a time, across the country!
All participants are asked a couple of questions about their journey and also to share a few words about themselves. I thank and applaud all participants for helping create this series and bringing awareness to this cause. Introducing and celebrating:
Sum Yung Jen
She chose to answer one of the questions.
What are some things you’d like to share about your being a survivor and fighting the cancer battle? ______________________________________________________________ When going through surgery you will have unusual pains for a lengthy number of years but just know your body will regenerate and you will feel whole again. If you're going through chemo you will become weak, have body changes and may experience side effects and everyone's side effects are different but know it is temporary. If a certain medication doesn't work for you know that their are plenty of options and research. You are not alone. If you ever feel down please know that there are groups and plenty of resources out there for us when we are having a hard time with anything we go through. ______________________________________________________________ Bio: I'm now 43 and I was 1st diagnosed at the age of 32 a single mother of a 3 year old. I felt a throbbing pain in my left breast that just wouldn't go away. The next morning I still felt it. I was in the shower and I felt in my upper breast a small hard lump. MY PCP ordered tests. I had a biopsy and I was a nervous wreck. It was the most unpleasant and painful feeling in the world at the time but, I knew it had to be done. I was told that I was positive for what may be cancer. I was at a loss for words and in tears. Shortly after I met with my oncologist. I went with my aunt who asked every question under the sun. I scheduled for a lumpectomy. The surgery was great. A couple months later chemo then radiation after. I would touch my head and globs of hair fell out. I would try wigs on and it still fell out(embarrassed) I got the courage to shave it bald. I had fun with wigs and head wraps. 5 years of full nerve regeneration and I was brand new. Then I turn 40 and I go for a routine mammo and now I have stage 2 invasive in 2 ducts in my same breast. Best option was a bilateral mastectomy with Free Tram Diep Flap. It was the best thing I did because my right breast had a risk of cancer. After many reconstructive surgeries I am grateful for my Dana Farber/BWH/Partners team and all the support I received from friends and family. I now work at Dana Farber at their Welcome Center answering the busy phone lines trying to make a difference in the way they feel when they get a live person on the phone. Just knowing that I'm that listening ear or comforting person on the other end. Keep fighting strong ladies you are beautiful in and out those scars are just a reminder of how strong we are .
Diagnosed with breast cancer March 2019. What I’d like to share about fighting breast cancer: March 13 was the day I really understood the statement “a moment can change your life forever” During a self-breast exam I felt something and everything in my being spoke to me saying there was something odd. I do self-breast exams about once a month and here was a lump I had never felt before... it seemed to come out of nowhere. Grape size. No pain. No symptoms.
I called my PCP and got an appointment quickly. She examined me and said it felt like breast tissue, stating breast tissue can change with age. She didn’t convince me as I felt like it didn’t belong in my body. Glad I did NOT listen to her. No one knows my body better than me.
So, she referred me for a mammogram/ultrasound. Then I was referred to have a biopsy. On March 13th I got the call. The biopsy came back “Cancer” and the doctor continued to talk but I literally heard just three words: Cancer, invasive, surgery.
After this phone call, my life changed immediately. It’s now months since that phone call and I have been to more doctor appointments in these weeks than I have my entire life. I have been healthy; besides my general check-up I don’t go to the doctor.
I’m a daughter, a sister, a friend, an aunty, a cousin, a high school Assistant Principal, immigrant from Jamaica, graduate of Northeastern University, Columbia University & UMASS Boston, member of Sigma Gamma Rho and now a Cancer patient who looks forward to becoming a cancer survivor soon.
I may not be the face of breast cancer you often see, but I am the face of breast cancer.
Hello my name is Catherine Moore. On 10/29/18 I went to my doctor to get my annual scheduled mammogram and on 11/12/18 I was diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer in my left breast. I cried tremendously never thinking I would hear those words “Ms. Moore we found abnormal cancerous cells in your left breast. I even got a second opinion and I was told the same diagnosis.
The doctors highly recommended that I should get a double mastectomy to prevent the cancer from spreading to my right breast. On 1/4/19 both of my breast were surgically removed. I struggled to cope and adjust without having any breasts. I then had to motivate myself to look on the bright side and remind myself that I’m cancer free and a breast cancer survivor. And everyday I’m truly living my best life!
My name is Teena Smith.
I feel good, I feel strong and I feel blessed! July 2016 while at work I received the most devastating phone call. Caller: Hi may I speak with Teena Smith Me: This is she, how may I help you? Caller: I am calling to inform you that your results came back and you tested positive for breast cancer…….. Me: Silence………………………………………………………. Caller: Hello, Ms. Smith are you there Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello? Me: I am sorry I think you might have reached the wrong person. Besides, I get my mammograms at another facility. Who are you looking for again? Caller: This is Teena Smith correct, with the DOB of …..? Me: Yes, it is but there must be a mistake. I am thinking there has to be a mistake! I feel my eyes getting full. Caller: You can come into the office to discuss this further; we can set you up with an appointment now. Me: No thank you, I am all set and hang up the phone. I was given the diagnosis of LCIS — Lobular Carcinoma In Situ Her2- ER + PR +. It was explained to me that if I had to have breast cancer this was the best form to have. I totally disagree with that statement. I felt like I was given a death sentence. I was on a complete emotional roller coaster ride. I experience so many different feelings. I was terrified, not knowing what my future held. Through it all my strength came from up above. I learned how to humble myself. I learned that cancer was one thing that I had no control of. God would have the final say. I prayed day in and day out. I asked God to see me through and he did. I also had the full support of family and friends. I had my 1st lumpectomy on 9/13/16 and unfortunately had to go back on 9/29/16 because my margins were not clear. I am now 3 years cancer free! I refuse to say that I'm in remission, remission means cancer can return and I refuse to claim cancer. I'm cancer free! I feel good, I feel strong and I feel blessed!