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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

  • Jennifer Jones Profile

    I'm 3 days post-op and I have almost no pain but I'm tired. Is this normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 5 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Yes, anesthesia is part of it but you've also had major surgery (really major if you had mastectomy) so your body is wiped out.

      Comment
    • cindy stephenson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yep- I was tired for a few weeks. Just rest and eat alot of protein and push fluids.

      Comment
  • Linda Burke Profile

    I have 2 chemo cycles left and I am questioning whether I can bounce right back into my prior life as people expect me to. My work wants me to start right away but my mind and body don't feel ready. How have people handled this?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 5 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I didnt work full time, I was too sick. Thankfully my boss was understanding n let me do a lot of work from home. It took me almost a year to feel normal again. Listen o your body, whatever anyone else thinks doesn't matter. Honestly nobody who hasn't been through this can really understand,...

      more

      I didnt work full time, I was too sick. Thankfully my boss was understanding n let me do a lot of work from home. It took me almost a year to feel normal again. Listen o your body, whatever anyone else thinks doesn't matter. Honestly nobody who hasn't been through this can really understand, family, friends etc. I was true to myself and only did what I could do.

      Comment
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Linda, you don't mention how many cycles you will have had. I had 6 and it took me 3-4 weeks to start to feel "normal" again. At about week 4 it was like I woke up one morning and said "hey, I feel pretty good!" I didn't push it, though, because I was still anemic and got tired quickly. ...

      more

      Hi Linda, you don't mention how many cycles you will have had. I had 6 and it took me 3-4 weeks to start to feel "normal" again. At about week 4 it was like I woke up one morning and said "hey, I feel pretty good!" I didn't push it, though, because I was still anemic and got tired quickly. Despite what they might want, I don't believe your job can require you to return to work before you are healed from your treatment. Nor can they "punish" you in any way for not returning when they wanted you to. I'd talk to your HR person if you have one, and certainly review your company handbook or policies if they have them. If necessary get a note from your doctor stating that your health doesn't permit you to begin working for XX weeks or months.
      Good luck!

      Comment
  • misty wilbanks Profile

    Will it increase my chances for breast cancer coming back if i have a lumpectomy or will it decrease if i have mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Becky card swerdloff  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      there is no right answer. Some women take the brac test and have their breast removed in fear of getting cancer. Unfortunately, I learned that even if you have your breasts removed you can get breast cancer. Remember cancer is in each one of us. Whether hormones, change of llfe body changes,...

      more

      there is no right answer. Some women take the brac test and have their breast removed in fear of getting cancer. Unfortunately, I learned that even if you have your breasts removed you can get breast cancer. Remember cancer is in each one of us. Whether hormones, change of llfe body changes, food, plastic, stress can trigger cancer. If there are cancer cells floating on your chest bone, you will still get breast cancer. Some suggest a super diet, less stress, prayer and hormone regulation will help. I was told by Dr. Cox in tampa that my type of lumpectomy breast cancer should not reoccur for at least 10 years. I am not taking any tamoxifin or other cancer preventative drugs. If I have 10 years left, I want to be drug free.

      11 comments
    • Becky card swerdloff  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      it will not decrease or increase your cancer from what I have read, cancer cells float around everywhere and if you get mastectomy and new ones, they will have to remove everything when if it comes back. My theory is keep what you have until you have to really let go

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Can anybody advise me of the possible side effects of Taxotere (best and worst case scenarios) and recommend effective treatments for the side effects?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I had taxotere, carboplatin n herceptin. My onco said the taxotere was rough n for me it really was. All I can say is to try tows stay very hydrated before n after treatment. I was given anti nausea meds in IV n two days of pills after, Emend. I always had lemon head candies for that awful taste....

      more

      I had taxotere, carboplatin n herceptin. My onco said the taxotere was rough n for me it really was. All I can say is to try tows stay very hydrated before n after treatment. I was given anti nausea meds in IV n two days of pills after, Emend. I always had lemon head candies for that awful taste. Take heart not everyone has bad side effects.

      Comment
    • Lisa Kotterer Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      I had a low grade fever and bone pain. I also had a burning sensation in my feet and hands.

      Comment

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