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Jan's Story

About her story

"I am one woman among hundreds of thousands of women who are learning to be courageous, and to overcome, and to live in the face of cancer."

Jan was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in June 2009 after undergoing a routine bone scan for an unrelated injury. A wife and mother, Jan described her initial diagnosis as a complete shock.

"I remember just the sensation of having the wind sucked out of my lungs, a sucker punch, or something that stops you mid-stride," says Jan about her diagnosis. "And then as you begin to breathe again, there's this one million questions that circle your mind. "

Realizing that her family needed her and that she had some things she still wanted to accomplish, Jan decided to fight. Her touching story of survival and hope is an inspiration to anyone facing the difficult journey of breast cancer.

Related Questions

  • Lisa Doheny Profile

    Has anyone been on taxotere& cytoxan for chemo? I'm also taking steroid pills the day before, the day of, and the day after. Is this normal? Is this what makes you gain weight? Do I need the steroids? Very nervous, I start chemo tomorrow.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Lisa,
      Try to think of the chemo as your path to getting back to a normal life and wiping out that nasty BC. You have a lot of company with your mix of chemo., and the combination of drugs is pretty common. Even though we may have diagnosis that sound the same, there are always differences in...

      more

      Hi Lisa,
      Try to think of the chemo as your path to getting back to a normal life and wiping out that nasty BC. You have a lot of company with your mix of chemo., and the combination of drugs is pretty common. Even though we may have diagnosis that sound the same, there are always differences in many components of individual cells. The steroids are used as a preventative to some reactions to the chemotherapy drugs. Steroids can cause weight gain but so will lack of normal exercise. You aren't on the steroids all that much. You only take them around and during your treatment. Did your oncologist have a port placed for the delivery of your treatments?
      I can only tell you of my experiences with chemotherapy. I started losing my hair about 2 weeks after the first treatment. I never had nausea but the first few days after my treatments, I felt very tired kind of like the flu. After about the 4th or 5th day, there was a big turn-around and I was back to normal. I was taking a different combination of drugs than you, but my taste changed. Before chemo, I LOVED coffee and chocolate. During chemo, I craved greens! I used to consume bags of spinach and salads. After chemo, back to the coffee and chocolate. I lost a little bit of weight.
      The time I spend in the place where the chemo is given was like a little party room. Much laughing, talking, and eating with the other patients. I loved the people and had a great time.... no kidding!
      I would take something to read, MP3, or other electronic thingy, or a crossword puzzle... anything that you enjoy. I always slept through part of my treatment which lasted about 1.5 to 2 hours. I ALWAYS asked questions and I think you should bring a list of things you want to ask for tomorrow. Be your own best advocate. If something doesn't seem right, speak up! Be polite, but be sure and check when that inner voice says "Something doesn't seem right." I always dealt with the entire breast cancer thing with a whole lot of humor. It seemed to take the place of my fear. Hang in there.... you will be ok. Tomorrow will be one treatment checked off on your road to recovery. BE SURE TO DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS! Take care, and God's blessings, Sharon

      4 comments
    • Kris Shortridge Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had both of those drugs. The steroid you are taking is to help with the nausea. It really worked for me. It kind of makes you wired fir a couple of days though. It did make me put on a little weight. If you feel well enough, walking might help with that. As forth drugs, the taxotere caused some...

      more

      I had both of those drugs. The steroid you are taking is to help with the nausea. It really worked for me. It kind of makes you wired fir a couple of days though. It did make me put on a little weight. If you feel well enough, walking might help with that. As forth drugs, the taxotere caused some numbness & tingling in my fingers &

      Comment
  • Kim Curry Profile

    When should you speak to a surgeon/plastic surgeon? My last chemo treatment is in two weeks.

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      It is never too early to talk to a plastic surgeon. We use to advise our patients to talk to a plastic surgeon when first diagnosed do you know what all your options are

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I mean so you know what all your options are

      Comment
  • Erin Wolf-Goldstein Profile

    I have stage two triple negative breast cancer, I've had chemo and a double mascetomy. Now my oncologist and radiologist are suggesting I do chest wall radiation, Is it worth the risk?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      You need a second opinion from a radiologist and an oncologist. Not know anything about your breast cancer, and it's particulars, you need much more of expertise than this board can give you. If it were me, I would be making appointments today. Good luck and keep us posted. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      It's always good to get a second opinion, then you can compare notes. Is there a reason they have given you for rads?

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have stage 1 BC Ductal Carcinoma invasive on my right breast, I am considering bilateral Mastectomy, I had stage 0 noninvasive cancer in the left breast when I was 39 years old.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I think a choice of bilateral mastectomy is absolutely worth consideration. It is something to discuss with your oncologist and surgeon. Since you have had a history of BC in your left breast, it is probably the best decision to have a bilateral mastectomy. You can also talk about the...

      more

      I think a choice of bilateral mastectomy is absolutely worth consideration. It is something to discuss with your oncologist and surgeon. Since you have had a history of BC in your left breast, it is probably the best decision to have a bilateral mastectomy. You can also talk about the possibility of reconstruction too. I had a mastectomy in 2006 and wear a prosthesis which is quite comfortable. In fact, to me, it is so comfy, it feels normal! I It is a personal choice women have to make for themselves. Please keep in contact with us, we care about everybody going through this journey. Take care, and blessings to you.
      Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I chose a bilateral mastectomy, to me it was a no brainer. I have not had any regrets what so ever. I am now going through my expansion which should be complete in a couple of months. When it is complete I will have a pair of equal sized breast that look the same and I also reduced the chance of...

      more

      I chose a bilateral mastectomy, to me it was a no brainer. I have not had any regrets what so ever. I am now going through my expansion which should be complete in a couple of months. When it is complete I will have a pair of equal sized breast that look the same and I also reduced the chance of a reoccurrence . Good luck with it all.

      Comment

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