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    Celebration (Finished treatment): Praise God for all of this. I am now out of treatment and on my road to complete recovery. The biggest thing that I have learned from all of this is to TRUST my God. He is faithful to his promises. He is the blessed controller of all things.

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    Radiation (External radiation ): The only thing about radiation is that you go every day except on the weekends. I had minimal side effects. I did not have the tiredness that I have heard about. They do have you take you shirt off and that was a little embarassing, but they are very professonal. I did get a sunburn type burn on the low side of my neck as they were trying to reach a lymph node under my clavical. They zapped the area under my arm, my R brease area, under the R clavical, and under my sternum. I takes longer to set up and move the machines around than to shoot the beams at you.

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    Procedure or Surgery (Double Mastectomy): I am neutral about the surgery because I personally had problems. On one side the skin did not do what it was supposed to do. I have an expander in the L side but the R one had to be removed. I am waiting until I heal really well and then, hopefully, will have them reconstructed.
    The prosthetics are OK. I had to get used to putting them on and off. In the beginning they feel cumbersome. I wear them every day. It is importat to do that so that you get use to them. They are fine now and noone ever knows that they are not attached. I still plan to have them reconstruced.

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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): The treatments were easy to do. I just went to the office and sat in a recliner and was given an IV. It lasted about 4-5 hours. I read, did craft work that I could do on my lap. My husband sat with me throught it all. He was my Chemo-Sabe. I was worried about the side effects. My greatest fear was the nausea and vomiting. God blelssed me and I had NO nausea or vomiting. But I did have just about all of the other side effects. I did loose my hair. But, we made it a game when it started to come out. I had had it cut short just after the diagnosis so that the I could get use to it before this happened. The first day that a wad was in my comb, I took control and I called my daughter and said that this was the day. I went over to her house and with the grand kids lined up on the other side of the bar, we started to play. At first she buzzed my head but left me a Mohawk. We took pictures and laughed. Then she shaved the center out and I just had the fringe around the sides and I looked just like my Dad. All of the men in my Dad's family had just the fringe around the sides. I have a round head just like Charlie Brown. The important thing is that you take charge of the cancer and not feel defeated. Very few of the side effects lasted very long. Most of them were very manageble. Make sure you tell the Dr. everything that happens, because she may have a way to deal with it.

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    Oh No (Diagnosed): The last week of May I had been on a fishing trip with my husband. I developed a soreness in my thigh. It grew to be sore from my groin to below my knee so I went to the hospital and was admitted over the weekend and started on anticoagulants. I was to see a hematologist who also was also an oncologist. She started doing all sorts of test, one of which was an MRI of my brain. I asked why a brain scan when my clot was in my groin. She said that many times the first sign of a cancer is a strange blood clot. I told her that it could not be cancer because there was none in my family.
    The office called one evening to give me my medication orders and asked if I had any problems at all. I told the nurse that I know that the girls do not come in matched sets, but the evening before I thought that my R breast was slightly larger than my L. There was nor soreness, lumps, bumps or anything. The next morning at 8am the office called and said the the Dr. wanted to see me at 1pm. I took my husband with me but I thought it was about the clot. She examined my R breast and found enlarged lymph nodes about 1" deep and I would never have found them myself. I had had a clean mamogram the previous Dec. She said that she wanted me to see a surgeon. Since this was a Thur. I thought that it would not be until the next week. She came back into the room and told us that the surgeon would see me NOW. We had to drive straight over. The surgeon did another mamogram and a needle biopsey right then. The next day I received a phone call at noon that the Dr. wanted to see us at 4pm. NOW I KNEW that I was in trouble. She told me that I had breast cancer and that it had spread into my lymph nodes already. I said that at least since my mammogram had been clear in Dec and this was June that we had found it early and I was safe. She said no, that I was treatable but not curable. What a blow!!! We were stunned. She said that I was a Stage 4. I was in a fog most of the time, because I could not wrap my head around what she was saying. I felt that if there was none in my family and I was consistant about my mammograms how could I have cancer, especially that advanced? I was in treatment in less that a month. I felt great, looked good, how could I be that sick?

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