Witness the accounts of Breast Cancer Paitantes telling how they get the News.
Tags:Surviving Breast Cancer- Getting the News,getting the news about breast cancer,mammography,breast cancer,Breast Cancer Information,cancer in women,cancer information,cancer survivor story,kvie,Surviving Breast Cancer Part 1/12,undergoing breast cancer treatments
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Female: It just touches my heart to know that I made this much of a difference.
Female: I don’t have any fears for the future. I have a lot of hope.
Female: If this happens to you don’t close yourself in your home just go out, be with people, be with people you like and love.
Female: So the message I hope to give to all women and people is have a positive attitude in life.
Jill Eikenberry: Welcome to Breast Cancer Strength & Courage.
Michael Tucker: Thanks for joining us as we share personal stories of women that found what everyone needs they face a crisis of any kind, strength and courage.
Jill Eikenberry: I needed it when I heard that frightening diagnosis, breast cancer, more than a decade ago. Hello I'm Jill Eikenberry.
Michael Tucker: And I'm Michael Tucker and I needed it too as her husband. I desperately wanted to help but struggled to find the best ways.
Jill Eikenberry: Remember how afraid I was and how little information I had about the disease?
Michael Tucker: I think I was just as afraid, but maybe for different reasons. Of course I worried about losing you but I also worried about failing you. Men want to be heroes for their wives.
Jill Eikenberry: What we both learned was the power of someone holding your hand.
Michael Tucker: Yeah, either literally or figuratively.
Jill Eikenberry: Mike and I have shared many things over the years including our love of acting on the stage of the screen, but nothing has been as dramatic as the challenge we've met with breast cancer.
Michael Tucker: How do you get the strength and courage you need to see you through?
Jill Eikenberry: It’s not about beating the disease even though that is our fervent hope, it’s about lifting yourself up. It’s about embracing life.
Michael Tucker: Come with us as we explore the lives of a few women who have found ways to do just that.
Jill Eikenberry: We begin with Susan who was newly diagnosed and in shock. We’ll follow her journey throughout the program.
Michael Tucker: And along the way you’ll meet people who will inspire you with imaginative, bold, sometimes quiet always interesting ways to summon strength and courage.
Jill Eikenberry: Life can change in a moment. For Susan Gregory and her family that moment came at 7:34 am, Tuesday, January 21.
Susan Gregory: I was totally shocked, stunned. It can’t be happening to me. Breast cancer happens to someone else. Cancer happens to someone else.
Tim Gregory: What do I say? What do I do when I get home? I was trying to process my thoughts, it was very difficult. I mean the grief—you're going through grief, I was going through grief and just feeling numb.
Jill Eikenberry: Susan Fleming became Mrs. Tim Gregory in August of 1985. Their story is one of love, faith and a few challenges but nothing that might prepare them for this.
Tim Gregory: Life had change. It was a single phone call that had it changed.
Jill Eikenberry: On Wednesday, Susan and Tim along with Susan’s mother visited Dr. Ernie Bodai to discuss treatment options.
Susan Gregory: I thought it would just be a few weeks of radiation. I have no idea I had to decide between a lumpectomy and radiation and chemo, or a masectomy and chemo. That was the furthest thing with my mind.
Tim Gregory: Surreal would be one word to describe my emotions and just recognizing this can’t be real, but it is and trying to deal with what’s happening.
Jill Eikenberry: Within days, Susan would be in surgery.
Susan Gregory: I think the hardest period of time was between Wednesday when I was diagnosed and Saturday having the surgery.
Tim Gregory: Recognizing that Saturday is coming and knowing that your life is definitely going to change again.
Susan Gregory: Every 30 minutes I looked at the clock and I would think in these many more hours this is what will happen and I kept thinking tomorrow will come too soon. Everything changes tomorrow.
Jill Eikenberry: Saturday arrived and Susan and Tim entered into their new reality full on.
Susan Gregory: I had to make a logical choice. And my logical choice was I’m going trust God with this. As I chose to trust God, I became peaceful and became hopeful, I became calm.
Jill Eikenberry: According to the surgeon the surgery went well.
Dr. Ernie Bodai: Fortunately her lymph nodes were not involved which is very, very important factor when we were looking at prognosis and long-term survival. So even though she a lot of hurdles to go through the margin of survival is excellent.
Jill Eikenberry: As Susan reflects on those days between diagnosis and surgery, she discovers a rather unusual feeling arises.
Susan Gregory: There was curiosity in there because I believe very firmly that if God allowed this to happen to me He was going to bring good out of it. And I started wondering oh I wonder how I'm going to change, I wonder how I'm going to grow. I wonder what God is going to do with this. As for God, his way is perfect.
Jill Eikenberry: This focus on how God will use this in her life is what will keep her going through her many months of recovery.
Michael Tucker: Susan is just starting to battle this disease, she has a lot of company.
Jill Eikenberry: According to the American Cancer Society, more than 200,000 women and 1600 men in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women behind lung cancer, but the death rate is going down.
Michael Tucker: And the experts say that’s likely the result of earlier detection, together with more effective treatments, education and awareness of health too.
Jill Eikenberry: Breast cancer screening is the single most important tool leading to the best possible outcome. There are three types of screening. First, the breast self-exam. Whatever inhibitions you may have about touching your own body lose them. Doctors says get to know your own breasts. That way you'll know when something changes.
The American Cancer Society offers information on the proper way to perform a self-exam—learn it and do it once a month beginning at age 20.
Next, there is the clinical breast exam, this is done by a physician or other qualified health professional. Start at age 20 and schedule this one every three years. Once you're 35 or older, have it done annually.
And finally, the mammogram. This is a radiologic tool which creates a picture of the breast tissue. The current recommendation is to have a baseline mammogram at age 35 and then once a year after age 40.