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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

  • Pat Kara Profile
  • Lacey Brooke Profile

    I am 21 and I have aggressive breast cancer. Could I end up permantely disabled for life from chemo? My tumor was 4 cm big.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Lacey....I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. Especially at such a young age. I was diagnosed with stage 3C last May. I had to have 8 rounds of chemo before my mastectomy....then 8 rounds afterwards as well. Last month I finished all my radiation treatments. Chemo isn't easy but you...

      more

      Hi Lacey....I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. Especially at such a young age. I was diagnosed with stage 3C last May. I had to have 8 rounds of chemo before my mastectomy....then 8 rounds afterwards as well. Last month I finished all my radiation treatments. Chemo isn't easy but you can get through it!! I'm still a little fatigued but other than the fatigue....I'm doing well. The fatigue will get better in time...and I'm cancer free!!!!!! Much love & hugs. You're not alone...you can do this!!!

      Comment
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      What do you mean by permanently disabled? I am 30 years old and went through 8 rounds of chemo, 2 lumpectomies, and 32 radiation treatments - with 2 rads left. I feel pretty much the same as I did before my treatments started. I did have side effects, but they disappear over time. Best of...

      more

      What do you mean by permanently disabled? I am 30 years old and went through 8 rounds of chemo, 2 lumpectomies, and 32 radiation treatments - with 2 rads left. I feel pretty much the same as I did before my treatments started. I did have side effects, but they disappear over time. Best of luck to you, we are all here for you if you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask!

      Comment
  • Chris Johnson Profile

    My oncologist says that I would have to do 18 weeks of chemo and then 6 months of something else. This means I put my life and the lives of my family on hold for a year. No one else I have spoken with has had this long a sentence imposed. What do I?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I understand how you feel Chris. I felt the same way when I was diagnosed. Then I met a woman with stage 4 cancer who was going through 2 years of just chemo alone...not counting surgery, etc. it helped me put things in perspective. I also began to think of chemo as something that is being done...

      more

      I understand how you feel Chris. I felt the same way when I was diagnosed. Then I met a woman with stage 4 cancer who was going through 2 years of just chemo alone...not counting surgery, etc. it helped me put things in perspective. I also began to think of chemo as something that is being done FOR me and not TO me. It's true...it's a year out if you life. But if it saves your life...it's a small price to pay. It's been 9 months for me so far. I'm not finished...but I'm getting there. I feel blessed to be alive. :)

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Chris....hope you've received our responses and are doing well. :)

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I just finished 4 A/C chemos and start Taxol in 2 weeks does anyone have advice on how to save my nails. I'd appreciate it so much.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Welcome Jayme. I'm sorry for the reason you're here but you have come to a good place. There are some great women here that are always happy to listen & offer advice whenever possible. We are a sisterhood of strong women!!! I was stage 3 also. I am 49 & was diagnosed in May of last year with...

      more

      Welcome Jayme. I'm sorry for the reason you're here but you have come to a good place. There are some great women here that are always happy to listen & offer advice whenever possible. We are a sisterhood of strong women!!! I was stage 3 also. I am 49 & was diagnosed in May of last year with stage 3c IDC after a routine mammogram & ultrasound missed seeing my lump. I went through A/C then Taxol beginning in May. I then had my bilateral mastectomy (without reconstruction) on Oct 24th. I had 15 lymph nodes removed from my right side. 13 of those were positive for cancer and some of those had broken outside the node. My Onc recommended more chemo. So I had 8 more treatments with Gemzar & Carboplatin. I finished last month, and had a PET scan on Monday. Yesterday I received wonderful news. I am very happy to say that I am now cancer free!!!!! I will still need to undergo 6 1/2 weeks of radiation & later on I'll have reconstruction. But I've made it!! All the treatments i had were totally worth the outcome! I'd do it all over again. I had some difficult days but I tried to keep a positive mindset. Be kind to our body, surround yourself with positive people. You'll get through this! There are a few survivors here that had triple negative breast cancer as well. I'm sure you'll be hearing from them. We'll all be here for you any time you have a question, or just want to vent. Hugs Jayme!

      4 comments
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Jayme, I was also on that paticular chemo "cocktail" during my first go 'round with chemo. My fingernails did not come off but they "flattened" out. It was weird. My toenails became brittle but did not come off. I've heard some women say good things about tea tree oil. Rubbing it in & around...

      more

      Hi Jayme, I was also on that paticular chemo "cocktail" during my first go 'round with chemo. My fingernails did not come off but they "flattened" out. It was weird. My toenails became brittle but did not come off. I've heard some women say good things about tea tree oil. Rubbing it in & around the nails. :)

      Comment

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