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Introduction

 
Introduction

Chapter: 1 - Introduction

Subchapter: 1 - Introduction

Each of our lives is a story. We journey along a road of experiences and emotions, passing significant milestones along the way. When suddenly, the road beneath our feet takes a sharp turn, breaking from what was once certain.

Breast cancer causes this break. Perspective ruthlessly shifts; you and your loved ones see the road differently than before.

However, we see the road has not ended–it continues on through new hills and new valleys. We know that life has done this before, curiously forcing us into foreign places and down roads that seemed impassable. Yet somehow these challenges become fertile soil where seeds of strength, love, and resilience mature and grow strong.

Remember, this is a road that has been traversed by thousands of women, women with full lives and loved ones. Women whose dreams–whose lives–were threatened by breast cancer. Women who now share stories of endurance and hope.

Beyond the Shock® is first and foremost a resource for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Secondly, it is for their loved ones to gain a better understanding of the disease and to feel a stronger sense of connection. Finally, it is for doctors to reinforce their instruction and advice.

This is the first of a series of videos, divided up into chapters and sub-chapters. These videos will provide information for you to process, share and use to your own benefit. You will learn about breast cancer: it’s types and stages, how it grows, how it is diagnosed, and how it is treated. More than anything else, Beyond the Shock® is a place to gain knowledge for today and receive hope for tomorrow.

Related Questions

  • Nancy Ries Profile

    A Facebook friend posted this quote yesterday. It is from Carl Jung. "I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to be." Lets all choose to be brave and strong women.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I choose to be cancer free! :)

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Oh Nancy.... YOU ARE THE WOMAN OF THE DAY!!! I LOVE this. I truly and absolutely agree with this. We ARE NOT blobs of breast cancer, we have faced the terrifying diagnosis and some pretty tough treatments. We come out the other side much stronger for walking through fire. You just can't help...

      more

      Oh Nancy.... YOU ARE THE WOMAN OF THE DAY!!! I LOVE this. I truly and absolutely agree with this. We ARE NOT blobs of breast cancer, we have faced the terrifying diagnosis and some pretty tough treatments. We come out the other side much stronger for walking through fire. You just can't help developing some pretty tough calluses for the experience. My thought about the entire thing is you learn you are much tougher than you ever imagined. You can do anything you set your mind to take on. We become Warriors. Thank you again, Nancy for this re-affirming, positive statement.
      Be positive & strong women! Sharon

      1 comment
  • Susan Green Profile

    My oncologist said that cancer could have spread even though I had a mastectomy with negative lymph nodes. Has anyone had this happen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 8 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I think it all depends on the pathology of the breast cancer. There are so many other findings once a detailed report comes back one needs more information. Did you doctor say this in a context of recommending further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation? There is probably always a...

      more

      I think it all depends on the pathology of the breast cancer. There are so many other findings once a detailed report comes back one needs more information. Did you doctor say this in a context of recommending further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation? There is probably always a possibility of a cancer spreading but you / we need more information. If you are unsure about additional treatment, I would advise you to get a second opinion. Susan, good luck to you. There are a ba-zillion of us alive and well post breast cancer!

      4 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Well, dang I wrote a whole long bla-bla and somehow it vanished. The testing your doctor is waiting for is probably an "Oncotest DX" This test looks at the actual tumor cells and pathologists are able to grade them as to their probability of recurrance. If they are a higher grade on the scale,...

      more

      Well, dang I wrote a whole long bla-bla and somehow it vanished. The testing your doctor is waiting for is probably an "Oncotest DX" This test looks at the actual tumor cells and pathologists are able to grade them as to their probability of recurrance. If they are a higher grade on the scale, they will recommend further treatment. This way, if they are a low grade for recurrance, you won't be receiving unnecesary treatment. My brother-in-law had breast cancer and the onco DX and his cells were so low grade he didn't have to have any further treatment after his mastectomy. I did not have an onco test 4 years ago because I had one positive lymph node. (BUT...) My oncologist had just returned from a breast cancer symposium and there had been a completion of a study which benefited me. I only had to have 4 rounds of chemo because of the study because the study showed any more chemo would NOT benefit my type of breast cancer.....YAHOOOO! . Every single day, little advancements are made in diagnostics and treatments. The way it is going, treatments are becoming less drastic than they were in the past. This test you are waiting for does take longer than the other pathology for your tumor. This will be the final one in the line of all the diagnostics. You will move along to the next step. Susan, don't worry.... you will be ok. There are a ton of positive stories out here. Women are living long lives. I hope you keep in contact. We are a great big supportive group out here. We want to help other sisters who are going through this all too common battle. Again, please stay in touch. All the best to you, we all know what you are going through. Big healing hugs, Sharon

      Comment
  • Susie Wilson Profile

    Stage IIB IDC. Triple negative. First chemo tomorrow. Terrified about side effects. What are the most common side effects?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    about 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Susie, I remember when I first began chemo. It's very scaring not knowing what to expect. My first go around with chemo I had 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin followed by 4 rounds of dose dense Taxol. My main side effects during my first 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin cocktail were nausea and...

      more

      Hi Susie, I remember when I first began chemo. It's very scaring not knowing what to expect. My first go around with chemo I had 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin followed by 4 rounds of dose dense Taxol. My main side effects during my first 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxin cocktail were nausea and fatigue. They will give you something in your IV drip for nausea plus a prescription as well (usually its Zofran). Be sure to take it as directed BEFORE you get nauseous. My nausea was never bad enough to make my throw up. The meds are great...use them! My hair began to fall out on day 14 after my first chemo treatment. I decided to be proactive and had my boyfriend give me a buzz cut. My hair was very long and I didn't want to see it fall out in clumps. It was easier on me that way. And I must say...the fear and dread of losing my hair was harder than actually losing it. I need to do a new profile pic because I have about 2 inches of hair now. :).  It began growing back near my last treatment. Unfortunately I had to begin chemo again after my mastectomy but it's with 2 different drugs and I haven't lost what little hair I have this time.  :). During my last four rounds of Taxol my side effects were fatigue, changes in my nails, losing my eyelashes, eyebrows, etc., & some bone pain. I have had some neuropathy in my feet & hands but it was mild.  Taxol was easier for me.  You will probably be getting a shot of Neulasta periodically to boost you white blood count. This might give you some bone pain mostly in the upper body. If you'll take a Claritin a few hours before your Neaulasta shot and for a few days after...it will help decrease the pain. Don't ask me how it works...but it does! I have spoken to so many other omen that have sworn by it. About the only side effect that can't be controlled is the fatigue. Be kind to your body. Get lots of rest. Let others help you. Chemo isn't easy...but it's doable. If you can get in the mindset that chemo is not something that's being done to you...but think of it as an ally in your fight against cancer it will be easier to deal with. I'll keep you in my thoughts & prayers! Keep the faith & God bless you in your journey to wellness. 

      2 comments
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I forgot to mention the # 1 side effect- hair loss. I lost all of my hair- head, legs, underarm first then eyebrows and eyelashes later on. It's been just about 6 months since I first started treatments, and 2 months since I ended and my hair is finally starting to grow back! I must check 10X a...

      more

      I forgot to mention the # 1 side effect- hair loss. I lost all of my hair- head, legs, underarm first then eyebrows and eyelashes later on. It's been just about 6 months since I first started treatments, and 2 months since I ended and my hair is finally starting to grow back! I must check 10X a day to see if it's getting any longer! I'm glad I have hair again - although just a little bit! I was so sad when my hair came out, but you get through it and carry on!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    i went and had a 3Dmammogram and it shows a finding and i iech and haert under my arm and i want to know it it could be cancer.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Only a biopsy can give you a 100% answer

      2 comments
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I agree with Marianne. You would need a biopsy. Could be a cyst or a fibroid. Try to stay positive. Prayers to you.

      1 comment

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