15 year survivor

15 year survivor

I am 60 years old and am a 15 year breast cancer survivor. If anyone every has questions that they would like to ask me, I am more than happy to answer. I was stage 2, so I had a lumpectomy, 8 rounds of chemo and 35 radiation treatments. I just underwent a breast reduction on the unaffected breast as the size difference was really noticeable with age and gravity. Also waited to do anything as I wasn't sure what my future (if any) was going to hold. I was Her2 positive and opted out of Herceptin. At the time, it was new and causing heart failure. At 45 years old and with children only 11 and 7 at the time, I could have been totally cured of my breast cancer, but not able to physically keep up with my boys. My husband continues to be my rock. My children are growing into wonderful young men. Here I am. Still kicking and still praising God for His healing. I am a walking miracle thanks to the prayers of family and friends and putting everything in His hands.

13 Replies

  • Hi Redled! Thank you for sharing your story! I was wondering if you worry about recurrence?


  • I did a lot in the beginning! I was always worried that I wouldn't be there for my sons' next birthday, graduation, you name it! I still freak out a bit before my annual check ups and mammogram, as well as if I experience a new pain or twinge. However, I have learned, for the most part, to let go and let God. I am grateful for each new day and try to live to the fullest. I can only control certain things like diet and exercise. That being said, I still struggle, some days more than others, with the pain and chemo brain (it is a real thing). On these days, exercise and diet may go out the window😊 I just try to be present in the moment and not look too far forward and try to honor those who have lost the battle. Go easy on yourself. We have been through a lot. Everything takes time. May God bless you daily on your journey of full healing!

  • Thank you for sharing. I do have a question. I noticed on the lumpectomy is it done before or after chemo. I'm getting chemo first.

  • Mine was done before chemo. Typically, it is done after chemo if they are trying to shrink the tumor first. This allows for the better preservation of breast tissue. I did not need any reconstruction done after my lumpectomy because they didn't have to remove as much breast tissue. Mine was also close to the chest wall so the tissue removed was deeper. Not do close to the surface to affect the outward appearance of the breast. I hope that helps😊 Best of luck to you as you go through this journey. May God pour His blessings on you!

  • Thank you so much for the information. That really helps 😊

  • Congrats on your survivorship for so long. I was diagnosed in 2004 and underwent a lumpectomy and continued on tamoxifen for 5 years for it only to come back again in Oct of 2016. I opted to undergo a double mastectomy with reconstruction to get a better chance of it never to return again. After watching 3 sisters ages 21 & 23 pass very quickly after their diagnosis. My 28 sister passed after her 2 year horrible battle. I felt I made the right choice. I know no one can help you understand what to expect after surgery with the recovery, the metal, emotional, and physical parts all combined, I thought I was ready. Well after 9 weeks of the remaining drain and the pain it is causing me, I have tried to reach out to some support to have someone else besides my husband telle it's all going to be ok. How do I get to the part when eveeyone tells me "it will be the best thing that's ever happened to me" once it's over? When does that day come when I can feel very confident in that decision? I am not one to talk about my personal life to others but feel like it's time to get all this frustration out somehow. Church helped feel better for a couple days and I continue to pray but I feel like I am not being heard or have support. Being a newlywed of a bit over a year it was hard explaining all this to my husband, he now knows how I'm feeling. I just look for support from those that have gone through this so I know they are the ones that totally understand how I am feeling.

  • Thank you for sharing your story, Lost. I think that, though so many have gone through this, it is such a different and personal journey for each of us! I think that you will come to your own answer for that question. Obviously, it took me 15 years to move forward with my own surgery and that hasn't been easy. I can't imagine having to deal with all of this as a newlywed! Trust yourself and your decision. Try to move forward in your own time and at your own pace. I am so happy that you have an understanding husband! Mine has been my rock in life! I wish you the best of health and spiritual healing. May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

  • That is totally wonderful story and makes the rest of us feel better. I was stage 1 her 2 positive had a lot of chemo double mastectomy with reconstruction done at same time . Chemo gave me congestive heart failure so in had to stop probably the Taxol I am 6 year survivor I have taken tamoxifen and continue taking it at least 10 years I tried the aerobase inhibitors 1 yr but almost couldn't get out of bed double carpel tunnel at that time went back on tamoxifen. Complete hysterectomy to stop the estrogen...failure on implant on right breast the one that had the cancer many attempts and surgeries later the implant was removed. 6 months later had a breast formed from my muscle yikes it is great now but dealt with major infections for 4 months... right now I haven't had a surgery in over a year my joints are totally affected I am guessing the tamoxifen combination and no estrogen in the body! It is of course a blessing to be alive but I did not know the road people have to go down to get there. I try to take trips every year and enjoy my family and grandkids to the fullest. I wish some of the pain could be managed more but have to say my family and team of doctors are wonderful... question do you have a lot of pain with your choices and not doing tamoxifen?

  • I still do have lots of joint pain. I try to do yoga and walk on my good days. It has also been tough taking weight off. So, I do have struggles but am so happy to still be alive!

    I could not take Tamoxifen as I was not able to sleep at all with it. Herceptin would probably have caused heart failure and I was only 45 at the time, so I opted out.

    Thank you for sharing your story. God bless!

  • I too am blessed to be alive! I appreciate every birthday I have now instead of saying oh no I'm going to be another year older!now I am excited to have another birthday it's just amazing how quickly time goes. I could not believe either when I found out I had congestive heart failure or sometimes everything just hits you once. I have it controlled with medication I really have no idea when I said only 4% of people get it I never thought I would be one! I am so happy for you🦋

  • Thank you for your kind words. Keep healing!

  • Sister/Warrior keep on keeping on .God has truly blessed you Amen

  • Thank you. God bless you as well.

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