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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    Does having BC necessarily mean a shortened life expectancy, or once it's removed can things get back to how they were before with same chances of a long, healthy life?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Girls, I can't disagree or find fault with eating healthy and making wise choices, but a good and peaceful life is one of balance. The quest to avoid all things that may or may not be harmful to this fragil vessel that contains the real us is more than what we consume. In the earnest and...

      more

      Girls, I can't disagree or find fault with eating healthy and making wise choices, but a good and peaceful life is one of balance. The quest to avoid all things that may or may not be harmful to this fragil vessel that contains the real us is more than what we consume. In the earnest and well-meaning attempt to seek the best for ourselves, we sometimes heap stress needlessly upon our healing bodies and give ourselves over to fear that robs us of the very thing we're trying so desperately to secure-a well body. Stress could undo all the good. Perhaps my age shapes my ramblings and a cancer diagnosis may even shorten what time I have left, but I do know that we didn't cause our illness and may not even have much power to prevent a recurrence. There is something profoundly human and intimate in having an ice cream cone with my grandchildren on the 4th of July, sharing a medium-well rib-eye with my son who has an auto-immune disease and never experiences hunger or weight gain or sharing a piece of pecan pie with my husband of 43 years on our anniversary in August. Don't make the mistake that some of us may have made: trying so hard to live the right way, we missed living.

      4 comments
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I definitely agree with the diet suggestions! research other things as well, such as body products and health and beauty items. Having cancer these days, especially breast, is NOT a death sentence. I thought it was but once I was given a lot of information and empowerment from a great team of...

      more

      I definitely agree with the diet suggestions! research other things as well, such as body products and health and beauty items. Having cancer these days, especially breast, is NOT a death sentence. I thought it was but once I was given a lot of information and empowerment from a great team of doctors I felt like I was going to be fine and I am , a mere 9 months later. I am cancer free and feeling great! Many women are diagnosed like me in their 30's and go on to live healthy cancer-free lives!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Need to convince insurance to accept a doc out of network, can anyone help me with strong wording with letter? Thank you :) Radiation Girl

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    about 7 years 3 answers
    • Penny Walton Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2014

      Try to see if the dr will join your network, I had one do that, it took about 6 weeks, but worth the wait if your health will not be affected in a negative way. Good luck!

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Ask the patient advocate in the doctors office to help you.

      1 comment
  • Carla Victor-rawson Profile

    What is "normal" swelling after surgery and what type of swelling is bad that needs to be felt with?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Cathy Wadkins Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Well you have issues of fluid, and swelling of tissues but it is normal

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Carla swelling that needs to be dealt with is angry red and hot very very sensitive. The incision maybe a little red at the incision line if that reddness continues to spread and the area gets Warmer and warmer to touch and if you get a fever (if you are taking pain meds you may not get a high...

      more

      Carla swelling that needs to be dealt with is angry red and hot very very sensitive. The incision maybe a little red at the incision line if that reddness continues to spread and the area gets Warmer and warmer to touch and if you get a fever (if you are taking pain meds you may not get a high fever ) It is okay to call your doctor if you are concerned if your doctor is unavailable you can also call the surgical center/ hospital you had your procedure done at or the emergency room and ask to talk to a nurse.

      Comment
  • Linda coley Profile

    Is it normal for my breast to be very tender and heavy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years Answer

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