Breast Cancer Awareness Stories



A handsome, middle-aged man walked quietly into the cafe and sat down. Before he ordered, he couldn't help but notice a group of younger men at the table next to him. It was obvious they were making fun of something about him, and it wasn't until he remembered he was wearing a small pink ribbon on the lapel of his suit that he became aware of what the joke was all about.

The man brushed off the reaction as ignorance, but the smirks began to get to him. He looked one of the rude men square in the eye, placed his hand beneath the ribbon and asked, quizzically, "This?". With that the men all began to laugh out loud.

The man he addressed said, as he fought back laughter, "Hey, sorry man, but we were just commenting on how pretty your little ribbon looks against your blue jacket!" The middle aged man calmly motioned for the joker to come over to his table, and invited him to sit down. As uncomfortable as he was, the guy obliged, not really sure why.

In a soft voice, the middle aged man said, "I wear this ribbon to bring awareness about breast cancer. I wear it in my mother's honor."

"Oh, sorry dude. She died of breast cancer?"

"No, she didn't. She's alive and well. But her breasts nourished me as an infant, and were a soft resting place for my head when I was scared or lonely as a little boy. I'm very grateful for my mother's breasts, and her health."

"Umm", the stranger replied, "yeah".

"And I wear this ribbon to honor my wife", the middle aged man went on.

"And she's okay, too?", the other guy asked.

"Oh, yes. She's fine. Her breasts have been a great source of loving pleasure for both of us, and with them she nurtured and nourished our beautiful daughter 23 years ago. I am grateful for my wife's breasts, and for her health."

"Uh huh. And I guess you wear it to honor your daughter, also?"

"No. It's too late to honor my daughter by wearing it now. My daughter died of breast cancer one month ago. She thought she was too young to have breast cancer, so when she accidentally noticed a small lump, she ignored it. She thought that since it wasn't painful, it must not be anything to worry about."

Shaken and ashamed, the now sober stranger said, "Oh, man, I'm so sorry mister".

"So, in my daughter's memory, too, I proudly wear this little ribbon, which allows me the opportunity to enlighten others. Now, go home and talk to your wife and your daughters, your mother and your friends. And here..." The middle-aged man reached in his pocket and handed the other man a little pink ribbon.

The guy looked at it, slowly raised his head and asked, "Can ya help me put it on?"

This is breast cancer awareness month. Do regular breast self- exams and have annual mammograms if you are a woman over the age of 40. And encourage those women you love to do the same.

Please send this on to anyone you would like to remind of the importance of breast cancer awareness.
A CANDLE LOSES NOTHING BY LIGHTING ANOTHER CANDLE.
This one I do ask that you send on.



RARE FORM OF BREAST CANCER
from Juanita Bush


In November, I lost my sister to a rare kind of breast cancer. She developed a rash on her breast, similar to that of young mothers who are nursing. Because her mammogram had been clear, the doctor treated her with antibiotics for infections. After 2 rounds and it continued to get worse, her doctor sent her for another mammogram, and this time it showed a mass. A biopsy found a fast growing malignancy. Chemo was started in order to shrink the growth; then mastectomy; then a full round of chemo; then radiation. After about 9 months of intense treatment, she was given a clean bill of health. One year of living each day to its fullest -then it returned to the liver area. She took 4 treatments and decided that she wanted quality of life, not the after effects of chemo. We had 5 great months and she planned each detail of the final days.  After just a few days of needing morphine, she slipped away saying she had done what God had sent her into the world to do and now it was her  time to go. I still have tears as I write, but her message is shown below. And PLEASE-Be alert to any thing that is not normal, and be persistent in getting help as soon as possible.
JUANITA BUSH


  Paget's Disease

This is a rare form of breast cancer, and is on the outside of the breast, on the nipple and aureola. It appeared as a rash, which later became a lesion with a crusty outer edge. I would not have ever  suspected it to be breast cancer but it was. My nipple never seemed any different to me, but the rash bothered me, so I went to the doctor for that. Sometimes, it itched and was sore, but other than that it didn't bother me. It was just ugly and a nuisance, and could not be cleared up with all the creams prescribed by my doctor and dermatologist for the dermatitis on my eyes just prior to this outbreak. They seemed a little concerned but did not warn me it could be cancerous. Now I suspect there are not many women out there who know a lesion or rash on the nipple or aureola can be breast cancer.
Mine started out as a single red pimple on the aureola. One of the biggest problems with Paget's disease of the nipple is that the symptoms appear to be harmless. It is frequently thought to be a skin inflammation or infection, leading to unfortunate delays in detection  and care. What are the symptoms? The symptoms include:

1. A persistent redness, oozing, and crusting of your nipple causing it to itch and burn. (As I stated, mine did not itch or burn much, and had no oozing I was aware of, but it did have a crust along the outer edge on one side).

2. A sore on your nipple that will not heal. (Mine was on the aureola area with a whitish thick looking area in center of nipple).

3. Usually only one nipple is affected.

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor will do a physical exam and should suggest having a mammogram of both breasts, done immediately. Even though the redness, oozing and crusting closely resemble dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), your doctor should suspect cancer if the sore is only on one breast.Your doctor should order a biopsy of your sore to confirm what is going on. They will take a sample of your breast tissue in that area to test for cancer. If the cancer is only in the nipple and not in the breast, your doctor  may recommend just removing the nipple and surrounding tissue or suggest  radiation treatments. Had my doctor caught mine right away, instead of  flaking it off as dermatitis, perhaps they could have saved my breast,  and it wouldn't have gone to my lymph nodes.

This message should be taken seriously and passed on to as many of your friends as possible; it could save someone's life. My breast cancer has spread and metastasized to my bones after receiving mega doses of chemotherapy, 28 treatments of radiation and taking tamaxofin. If this had been diagnosed as breast cancer in the beginning, perhaps it would not have spread.

TO ALL READERS-

This is sad as women are not aware of Paget's disease. If, by passing this around on the e-mail, we can make others aware of it, and its potential danger, we are helping women everywhere. Please, if you can, take a moment to forward this message to as many people as possible, especially to your family and friends. It only takes a moment, yet the results could save a life!



Note from the webmaster:
Read this article
PAGET'S DISEASE





Contributed by Mona:

We need those of you who are great at forwarding on info with your e-mail network. Please read and pass on. Peace and good health. It would be wonderful if 2001 were the year a cure for breast cancer was found!!!!

This is one note I'll gladly pass on. The notion that we could raise $16 million by buying a book of stamps is powerful! As you may be aware, the US Postal Service recently released its new "Fund the Cure" stamp to help fund breast cancer research. The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland.

It is important that we take a stand against this disease that kills and maims so many of our mothers, sisters, friends. Instead of the normal $.34 for a stamp, this one costs $.40.  The additional $.06 will go to breast cancer research. A "normal" book costs $6.80. This one is only $8.00. It takes a few minutes in line at the Post Office and means so much.

If all stamps are sold, it will raise an additional $16,000,000 for this vital research. Just as important as the money is our support. What a statement it would make if the stamp outsold the lottery this week. What a statement it would make that we care.

I urge you to do two things TODAY:

1. Go out and purchase some of these stamps.

2. E-mail your friends to do the same.

Many of us know women and their families whose lives are turned upside-down by breast cancer. It takes so  little to do so much in this drive.

Please help & pass it on!


and this in from Dana Rae:

Hi all. Please excuse the reply all, but I did want to add something to the information that Mona sent out on the Breast cancer stamps.

I work for the USPS as a Rural Mail Carrier. This stamp was first introduced to the public (in a fund raising capacity) in the Spring of 1999. The campaign was only suppose to run for 1 year. Needless to say, we (the Postal Service) were overwhelmed at the response we received from the public on this endeavor. Not to mention, extremely proud of the amount of money that has now been donated to Breast Cancer Research. The figure mentioned in the previous article, $16 million dollars was the figure that was recorded in the Spring of 2000, (last year's figures). We have since been able to donate at least that much, and more! Thanks to the fine people that understand the value they are getting for paying a little "extra" for a book of stamps.

At the present time, there is not any talk of discontinuation.....it appears that the powers that be, may let this campaign run on indefinitely. Which would be WONDERFUL!

But there was another issue that I wanted to bring up. The article stated that all it would take would be a little "extra" money and your time in line at the Post Office. Well, I'm here to tell you that if you live on a Rural Route (anywhere in the United States) it won't even cost you your time. All Rural Carriers carry stamp stock in their vehicles at all times. (We may not have the particular "Breast Cancer" stamp, but we will BRING it to your mailbox for you). So, actually all it will cost you is a walk to your mailbox. You can leave an envelope in your mailbox with the money inside; (please make sure to MARK your envelope so that we don't think that it's your outgoing mail). Attach a small note telling your carrier that you would like a book of stamps ---explicitly the "Breast Cancer" stamps. If they don't have it with them that day, they will bring them to you the very next day. No trips to town, no extra exertion on your part. We'll be HAPPY to do this.....it's our job!

Now, if you live on a city route, well that maybe a different story. They aren't required to sell stamps, BUT....they will leave you an envelope where you can order stamps by mail.   So you still don't have to leave your home.

So, now it's even easier to contribute to the Breast Cancer Research Fund. And I am thanking you in advance for your purchases!!!

Dana Rae

Kalonaa, I understand your situation. My father has prostate cancer....My heart goes out to you. Perhaps we will be successful in this endeavor, and Ovarian Cancer will be our next fund raiser. Wouldn't it be great if the Postal Service could help fund a cure for ALL cancers????


Webmaster's note: I understand prostate cancer claims more lives each year than breast cancer.I hope it gets some attention soon too.














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