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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

  • ashley garnica Profile

    When you get a lump on your breast can you move it around ? My mom has it for alone time and she is worried is it bad if she gets a rash on her nipple ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • vicki e Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      A rash like that could be a sign of Paget's disease, a type of bc. She should go to her doctor because that is the only way to rule out a problem. Self diagnosis can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Ashley,
      It is very important for your Mom to get anything that isn't normal in her breast checked out. Putting it off because she is afraid it is going to something awful will not make it go away. If it is --something-- waiting will only make it worse. Most of the lumps and bumps we feel...

      more

      Ashley,
      It is very important for your Mom to get anything that isn't normal in her breast checked out. Putting it off because she is afraid it is going to something awful will not make it go away. If it is --something-- waiting will only make it worse. Most of the lumps and bumps we feel usually turn out to be not breast cancer. The rash worries me. Tell her that it is making YOU WORRY. For YOUR sake, she needs to be checked. You are a wonderful caring daughter. Tell her you love her and want her to be around for a long time.... please go have the lump and rash evaluated by her doctor. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Yashmira Devine Profile

    Had a bilateral mastectomy 5 weeks ago and feel numbness on my right arm down to the tips of my fingers. Anyone have a similar experience? What should I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Elaine Mills Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Wow.... you are the seventh person I have run into that had this happen also. I think... and this is just a THINK, that our bodies are made like wound rubber bands, and when that God-made construction is interrupted it causes problems. I had a double mastectomy, and my husband tells me I...

      more

      Wow.... you are the seventh person I have run into that had this happen also. I think... and this is just a THINK, that our bodies are made like wound rubber bands, and when that God-made construction is interrupted it causes problems. I had a double mastectomy, and my husband tells me I complained of the numbness within a few days, although I don't remember that early on. Just recently, I had a nerve study done that said I "all of the sudden developed carpal tunnel." I NEVER had carpal tunnel problems before the surgery. I have very strong and healthy hands as a musician. I was reduced to not being able to play my instruments or hold on to a dish without potentially dropping and breaking it.

      I fought having surgery on my hands, because the pain was all the way up my arms, and my right one would wake me with crazy pain. I eventually talked to my breast surgeon, who was also a hand specialist, and he prescribed Neurontin, which saved my life! I also had to succomb to the surgery. Right hand done and improving, and left hand scheduled for a few weeks out.

      Best wishes for all you have to go through. THis disease sucks, as does every thing that goes along with it. Please let me know how you do! I pray you don't have to go through an additional surgery. We have a facebook page called, "We Are Sisters" that is for survivors only. I have found it to be a sweet support. Joann Pearsall leads the page, and she is a Godsend.

      2 comments
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      I had major numbness down to my elbow. With self physical therapy exercises they sent home with me eventually limited up to just my under arm. I had 12 nodes removed. If you are taking chemo it can cause numbness. I had major numbness in my fingers and toes from the chemo. Ask your Ono team....

      more

      I had major numbness down to my elbow. With self physical therapy exercises they sent home with me eventually limited up to just my under arm. I had 12 nodes removed. If you are taking chemo it can cause numbness. I had major numbness in my fingers and toes from the chemo. Ask your Ono team. I felt lucky to just have the numbness as I did not have problems with lymphadema. Good luck.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Does anyone have advice? I'm having back spasms while taking Zometa and Faslodex. I have Stage 4 cancer that went to the bones and it hurts like crazy.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Doreen Finley Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had the same problem. Turned out I had a fracture in my spine. One of the tumors burst and caused the fracture. I thought I was in pain from sleeping on my old mattress. The MRI caught it. There are several treatment options if that is the case.

      Comment
    • Mona Callender Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes honey call your doctor and get pain pills.....no sense in being in pain. God Bless you...

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    do breast cancer cause me to lose weight

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Leah Fortune Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      That's in treatment

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Surprisingly I lost a few pounds while in the hospital for surgery but have since put some extra on due to chemo.

      Comment

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