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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

  • Barbara  Franzen Profile

    Hi, I am in my second treatment of taxotere and cytoxin. I got a sore mouth in the first treatment. But this time it is horrible. So far no open sores, but difficult to eat. Any suggestions?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Lori S Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I read about a baking soda and water rinse. It was also suggested to eat things like yogurt, broth, toast and stay away from sodas and acidic drinks. I start my first round of cytoxin and taxotere tomorrow.

      2 comments
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Barbara....yes those are painful. Has your Onc told you about magic mouthwash? It's prescribed for mouth sore from having chemo. It has Several different things that help heal the sores. It's really helped me!

      Comment
  • janice owens Profile

    My tumor was 2.3 cm labeled invasive ductal carcinoma. I don't have the rest of the data yet (like ER PR, etc) ,but would like to talk with others who have had similar biopsy results. I have not had lymph node mapping yet.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 6 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      My diagnoses was/is invasive lobular stage 3 estrogen - nodes. You can beat cancer.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Janice,
      We share the same diagnosis.... same size tumor, same type of breast cancer. I also had one micro involvment of a lymph node. They kept telling me I did not have cancer in any of my lymph nodes... until the surgical path report came through. I then went from a stage 2A to a 2B. I am...

      more

      Janice,
      We share the same diagnosis.... same size tumor, same type of breast cancer. I also had one micro involvment of a lymph node. They kept telling me I did not have cancer in any of my lymph nodes... until the surgical path report came through. I then went from a stage 2A to a 2B. I am at the 5 year mark.... healthy and cancer free. I was ER+ PR+ Her2-. Grade 2-3 I chose to have a mastectomy, and chose not to have reconstruction.
      I could have had a lumpectomy. With a lumpectomy, I would have had to not only have chemo but 6 weeks of radiation. I did not want to have to make trips into the city for 6 weeks. (we live on an island and a trip includes a ferry ride) My breasts were small so a lumpectomy would have made my breast look like I had tangled with a great white shark. NOT attractive. I had 4 rounds of AC chemo. and 5 years of a hormone blocking drug. I was post menopausal (59) at the time of diagnosis. No family history of breast cancer. I had dense breast tissue and I had a mammogram and ultrasound 7 months before I found the lump. I was in total shock.
      You have been diagnosed with the most common form of breast cancer. We are very sorry you have joined our sisterhood, but this is a wonderful forum. We will help you by sharing our experiences with you. Don't be shy about asking anything. So sorry you were diagnosed but PLEASE understand, breast cancer is not a death sentence. Please don't go to the dark side and ask "What are my chances?" (winning the lottery? having all your teeth drop out the night before Thanksgiving?) We don't have expiration dates stamped on us! You will be scared at first, but we are here to help prop you up through the diagnosis time and throughout your treatment. The more you find out about your diagnosis and your treatment, you DO find some comfort in knowing what is going to take place. You WILL become such a warrior and march your way right through getting rid of this nasty, sneaky, disease. Hang in there, we are here for every one of our sisters. Take care, Sharon

      4 comments
  • jeany turkett Profile

    Has anyone not received chemo after having bilateral mastectomy with triple neg invasive ductal breast cancer

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I'm triple neg too but did chemo first also... Very responsive.

      Comment
    • Jennifer Jones Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      I had chemo first--next I'm having surgery (my left breast) and then radiation. Triple neg really reacts to chemo.

      Comment
  • Angela R Profile

    I just found out my mom has breast cancer. I want to help her be as comfy as I can.. was wondering if a tote bag of goodies & comfort items would be helpful? I'm just not sure what might come in handy? any input or idea's are greatly appreciated.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      You are a very loving daughter! If you live in her area, most important is to accompany her to her consultation appointments. Ale her up a three ring binder to keep all the copies of her test results. She can tape all the office, and Doctor business cards taped on the inside cover of the...

      more

      You are a very loving daughter! If you live in her area, most important is to accompany her to her consultation appointments. Ale her up a three ring binder to keep all the copies of her test results. She can tape all the office, and Doctor business cards taped on the inside cover of the binder. You can put in dividers marked test results, notes from consultations, any paperwork she receives during her appointments. If she goes through chemotherapy, she will get PDR info. Sheets telling about the drugs. She will carry that binder with her to everything. If she is taking prescription drugs or supplements, every office wants a copy of that. She can make extra copies of those, store them in the bi dear to hand out. You can decorate this binder with cute stickers, pink survivor ribbons, positive statements, pictures of grandkids, etc. Make this special, and it will also be a conversation piece at the many offices. If she goes through chemo., she will need scarves or hats if she doesn't wear a wig.....she will start to lose her hair two weeks after she begins chemo. The American Cancer Society has a website for great head coverings. As for a. Basket of stuff, get her some lip balm, hand cream, pajama's that button up the front mints, there are lots of things she may needs when and if she goes to have chemo. Treatments.....like a very soft, warm small blanket. You will get more suggestions from other women here. Be sure and Google what to get someone going through breast cancer treatment. Mom will be ok, it's a tough go but doable. You are very sweet to think about Moms comfort. Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Sounds like great advice here. I know you said your mom is strong willed. That's a good thing. This isn't all gloom and doom, but it does help to have a positive, go get em attitude. She will be ok. Sometimes it's harder on the caregiver. They want to be needed, to do whatever they can. Don't...

      more

      Sounds like great advice here. I know you said your mom is strong willed. That's a good thing. This isn't all gloom and doom, but it does help to have a positive, go get em attitude. She will be ok. Sometimes it's harder on the caregiver. They want to be needed, to do whatever they can. Don't take it personally if all she says is 'I'm fine, I don't need you to do anything'. It's usually better just to do for her. Bring them dinner, or take them out to eat. Clean the house. Just be normal. Laugh and joke. Keep us updated on how she is doing. We are all here for you both. Prayers to you.

      Comment

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